Journey to Excellence program guides Davenport teacher

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Life is a room filled with First Graders for Alex Lampe.

The May 2012 St. Ambrose University graduate, 22, is a new teacher. It's just her second week at Davenport's Monroe Elementary School.

"Being a first year teacher, there are so many questions," she said.

And there are lots of answers from veteran teacher Jolene Whittemore.

Click here for part 2 or part 3 of Alex's journey.

Alex and Jolene are partners in Davenport's Journey to Excellence program. They'll work together throughout the year.

"28 years ago, as a new teacher, I had that same enthusiasm," Jolene said.

"I'm pretty blessed that I have Jolene as my mentor," Alex added. "She is unbelievable."

"I'm her cheerleader," Jolene said. "I'm her coach. I can be her confidant, but I'm her professional colleague."

The collaboration will make a big difference in the classroom. It's a way to ease the transition from student to teacher.

"It's so overwhelming, so hard and so exhausting," Alex said.

Both teachers have a lot invested in this professional partnership. It's a partnership that will help them to become better educators.

This year will be all about learning for First Graders and their teacher. News 8 will be checking in on them throughout the year to see the progress.

"We will work toward her being the best she can be," Jolene said.

"We work hard," Alex added.

Hard work and teamwork that will build confidence in the classroom. There will be personal sessions, conferences, phone calls and lots of e-mails.

"It's rewarding to have your own students," Alex said. "Have them look at you as a role model."

"The sense of professionalism starts with her," Jolene concluded. "It continues all throughout her career."

For a new teacher like Alex Lampe, it's a bright start at Monroe School.