For teacher Baylee Treme, trust is nurtured and relationships are ‘continually being built’

Published 5:00 am Friday, December 15, 2023

By Emily Burleigh

While sixth grade social studies teacher Baylee Treme, 22, may be young, her teaching style is “old school.”

She was born and raised — and is still rooted — in Sulphur and graduated from Sulphur High School in 2019.

She earned her bachelor’s in general studies from McNeese State University in 2022 and is currently working on a master’s in education from Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

For two years, Treme has taught at W.W. Lewis Middle School. The opportunity “fell into her lap” last fall, she said. Her first year she filled a temporary position as a sixth grade math teacher, which she enjoyed.

“I have always been a math person, but that position was not permanent for this school year. Social studies was. I love to try new opportunities, so when Mrs. Leblanc offered me the position, I jumped on it.”

She saw the chance to teach as her way of changing the lives of local youth, who live in a world that is different from hers when she was in middle school. Her goal is to not only effectively teach them the curriculum, but also life lessons that will support them “beyond the classroom and in daily life.”

As a social studies teacher with a focus on U.S. history, Treme is a storyteller with the goal of creating “great and future historians.”

“I compare my class to a soap opera, overly dramatic. I hook my students in by making history a story and involve them by asking how they would have responded, acted, and reacted if they were in that moment.”

Her favorite moment is when she sees the “lightbulb” light up in her students when they make educational connections during lessons.

“Old school methods” — accountability for mistakes, learning from failure — are utilized in Treme’s classroom. She said these are the values her mom instilled in her.

“It was important to drive those methods to kids who do not have that same guidance. My inspiration was not to create the perfect student, but to mold these kids into being resilient and productive members of our future society.”

She teaches by example using the tenets of “respect, authority, and discipline.” Her students feel secure in her classroom because she ensures them she has their best interests at heart and is motivated to help and witness them succeed.

In her classroom, Treme builds an environment where respect is expected to go both ways, proper discipline is mandatory, trust is nurtured and relationships are “continually being built.” The relationships that she forms with her students allow her to provide support systems for students who might lack a proper one at home.

The relationship that she has with her students is “amazing” and centered around respect, she said.

“There is mutual respect that is earned from both sides while an unbreakable trust allows for real and authentic conversations to be held and maintained. … When they respect you, they will perform for you, and try their best in all they do both academically and outside of the classroom.”