“You will get a kid that comes up and gives you a hug and say, ‘I love you.’ That’s what it’s all about.” – Muscogee (Creek) citizen and principal Deidre Prevett
Prevett loves school, diversity
TULSA, Oklahoma — Every morning, Muscogee (Creek) citizen and fifth generation educator Deidre Prevett stands outside and greets her students when they arrive at Lindbergh Elementary School in Tulsa.
At one time she wanted to go a different direction and was not going to follow in the footsteps of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents into an education career.
“It’s not something I really set out to do,” she said. “I was going in a different direction.”
She was pursuing an education in hotel and restaurant administration, but in one of her classes the instructor said something that stuck with her.
She said that when you get into this line of work, one of the things you will have to give up is seeing your family at holiday time.
Holiday time was a big issue for Prevett.
“So I started rethinking that thought,” she said.
Prevett said education was the perfect fit and it seemed natural.
“I’ve been in education now for 28 years total,” she said.
Prevett comes from a long line of teachers. Her great-great-grandfather Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief Motey Tiger was also a teacher.
She said she taught in Stillwater and Owasso before she moved to Tulsa to become a principal.
“For a year I was assistant principal at Cooper (Tulsa),” Prevett said. “Then 11 years here at Lindbergh, as principal.”
LES has a diverse population that Prevett enjoys. She said being an educator they have to make it work.
“We’re predominantly Hispanic here,” she said. “Some of the families will come in and think I’m Hispanic.”
Prevett said it is all about building relationships with her students.
She tells them that she is a minority as well and she can relate to them.
“Just knowing that we are all different and we learn differently,” Prevett said. “It’s my job to help my teachers to understand that these kids were not raised like they (teachers) were. We have to figure out the best way to reach these kids.”
Prevett said before she got to Lindbergh she never got to work with a lot of minority children.
“It was a culture shock,” she said.
When she became principal at the school she said she fell in love with the place. She loves the diversity.
“We got Hispanic kids, we got Native kids, we got Hmong kids,” Prevett said. “Getting to know them and their culture, I just fell in love with it.”
Prevett understands that the state funding for educators is small compared to other states, but she has an answer on why the teachers should stay here.
“We all have a common thread that we just want to help kids,” she said. “We got into education knowing this was not a mmoney-making position.
She believes it is something within a teacher that wants them to stay.
“I don’t have to do a lot of begging and pleading,” Prevett said. “It’s the teacher that wants to help these kids.”
She said she has lost teachers to neighboring states such as Colorado and Arkansas because of funding.
Prevett also spoke about students that want to be teachers in the future. She thinks being an educator is a fulfilling profession.
“You will get a kid that comes up and gives you a hug and say, ‘I love you’,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Prevett believes staying a principal at Lindbergh can help her students do well in their lives and teaching is in her blood.