Q&A: Teacher Appreciation Week

Jazmin Quintana and Hannah Norwood, Student Life Reporters

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8), we spoke with several staff members at ROJH about how they got into the field and what they think about teaching junior high.

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CAROLYN BROWN, 8th grade American History

Q: What college did you go to?

A: Bachelors: East Texas State University – Texarkana
Masters: Texas A&M University – Texarkana

Q: How many years have you taught?

A: 24 years

Q: What made you want to teach middle school students?

A: I didn’t! I wanted 3rd grade, like my mom taught. But my first job was 6th grade, and I really enjoyed the bigger kids. The year I taught 8th grade, I felt I was where I was supposed to be.

Q: What do you most dislike about teaching?

A: Standardized testing and everything that goes with testing.

Q: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

A: Getting to know the students.

Q: What made you want to teach this subject?

A: I have always LOVED history. I enjoy the stories and understanding how things were in the past. I really hope my students get an understanding and appreciation of our country’s story.


 

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TATUM THORNE, Nutrition & Wellness/Coach

Q: What college did you go to?

A: Stephen F. Austin State University

Q: How many years have you taught?

A: 16 years

Q: What made you want to teach middle school students?

A: It actually came with my coaching position, but I have enjoyed the middle school experience.

Q: What do you most dislike about teaching?

A: Not being able to reach out to every kid.

Q: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

A: When the “light bulb” finally clicks with students.

Q: What made you want to teach this subject?

A: To teach the students about a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly and staying away from drugs.

Q: Do you feel appreciated during Teacher Appreciation Week?

A: It’s cool to get stuff on those days, but I get my appreciation when students move on to the high school or really listen in my class.


 

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SESCELLI REDD, 8th grade ELAR

Q: What college did you go to?

A: Texas A&M University

Q: How many years have you taught?

A: 1

Q: What made you want to teach middle school students?

A: I didn’t want to teach elementary students because they are a little too needy and high school students have a lot of attitude. Junior high was a perfect fit.

Q: What do you most dislike about teaching?

A: I dislike the disrespectfulness we often get from students.

Q: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

A: Seeing the light bulb come on for students when they see themselves master something; it’s priceless.

Q: What made you want to teach this subject?

A: I’ve always loved reading, and I want to inspire other kids to love to read, too.

Q: Do you feel appreciated during Teacher Appreciation Week?

A: Yes, but I would rather see the appreciation from my students throughout the year than just one week. They could do it through being kind, responsible, respectful and hardworking.


 

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JOANNA BAXTER, 7th grade science

Q: What college did you go to?

A: Texas Tech University

Q: How many years have you taught?

A: 10 years

Q: What made you want to teach middle school students?

A: I like this age group.

Q: What do you most dislike about teaching?

A: Redirecting students when they are off task.

Q: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

A: Helping students understand science.

Q: What made you want to teach this subject?

A: I love science and I like to share information with students that can help them in the future.

Q: Do you feel appreciated during Teacher Appreciation Week?

A: Yes but I feel more appreciated from my students.

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