Employee of the Month: Patches Mohammed teaches compassion beyond the classroom

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September 10, 2021 by HCDE-Texas

Compassion for others is perhaps one of the most important lessons students can learn through their education. Patches Mohammed, Harris County Department of Education’s (HCDE) September employee of the month, exemplifies compassion in ways that teach children and adults alike how acts of kindness can change lives.

Patches Mohammed poses for photograph, September 1, 2021

“If I can help just one student and make a difference, I’ve done my job,” said Mohammed. “I just have a love for children, and I think that every child can and should learn.”

Mohammed recently began her tenth year at HCDE’s Academic and Behavior School West (ABS West). She began substituting in life skills classes in 2011 and “took an interest” through the training process. Soon after, she became an educational aide and was named Educational Aide of the Year in 2020.

ABS West Principal Victor Keys, Ed.D., says he often relied on Mohammed’s “impeccable” classroom notes to answer parents’ questions. He also notes how she exceeded expectations in her new role created based on the needs of the school’s staff.

“Whenever I give Ms. Mohammed a task to complete, she goes well above and beyond the call of duty,” said Keys. “She volunteers for [most] of the committees that we have on our campus, and if we do not have a committee, Ms. Mohammed will take the initiative to [oversee] the event or activity.”

In her current capacity at ABS West, Mohammed manages the school’s copy room. She established a highly efficient system that keeps copy orders running smoothly, allowing teachers to focus more time and energy on their students. She also assists with food service during lunch and generally sees that everyone at the school is cared for. In fact, that is what she does best: she cares.

Over the holidays, Mohammed assembled food boxes for four of the school’s families with her own funds. Outside of work, she participates in Alzheimer’s walks, volunteers with Baytown Habitat for Humanity, and with the help of her family, serves those in need in her community.

Patches Mohammed (right) poses with ABS West staff during a holiday event.

“Most of the time, we see people [in need] and we just give them something,” she said. “I have a passion to try to help others.”

This summer, Mohammed and her family donated $500 worth of school supplies to students and teachers. In August, she and her twin sister, Patience, launched an organization called Community Cares, in which they buy and deliver groceries, teach art classes, and offer other resources.

A native of Baytown, Mohammed says her passion for helping others is one reason she chose her vocation long before arriving at HCDE. She began teaching her brothers and sisters at a young age by reading to them and helping them with their homework and handwriting.

Patches Mohammed (center right) poses for a photograph with her siblings.

Mohammed, a soon-to-be great-grandmother, has many goals for herself, including selling her artwork and publishing a book about her granddaughter, “Kennedy Bennedy.” Her “number one goal,” she says, is to complete her bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston and become an English Language Arts (ELA) special education teacher. Once certified, she plans to stay at ABS West because she “couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

“I love coming to my job and being a part of HCDE,” she said. “I love doing what God put me here to do.”

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