Police Scanners

I am currently in the midst of UGA graduate school. I was sitting in my room earlier today working on an assignment for class. It brought chills when I read a quote from one of our books. It reminded me so vividly of my granny. Here is what I wrote for my assignment:

The section – A Scene from My Life really spoke to me. The specific part is from page 58 in the book Girls, Social Class, and Literacy by Stephanie Jones. “When the shadows lengthen and darkness falls in my hometown, my grandma makes her way to the bedroom and her beside table where the honeywood surface is neatly occupied by a Bible, a book (Why Bad Things Happen to Good People), a lamp, and a police scanner – the trusty gadget from where the static-filled voices come to keep her informed of the happenings on the street. She goes to bed each night selectively listening for familiar names of people and streets that might signify someone she loves is in trouble and in need of her help.”

This quote brought me back to my childhood where my granny would do the exact same thing. How two people can have this same experience in completely different worlds is awe-inspiring. My street from the quote was called a road because I grew up in a rural agricultural county. The book my granny had was – Two Week Women and God’s Amazing Grace. She wanted to do whatever she could for anybody and she wanted to know everything that was happening. She is the one who inspired me for several reasons.

1. She encouraged me to be better than she was and I became the first one to graduate from college.

2. She taught me to accept everyone no matter the color of their skin or the amount of money in their bank account.

3. Lastly she gave me a sense of pride in being who I was – because after all the only person I could be was ME.

I wish this for all of my students. I hope that they know someone has their back!  I want them to feel loved, supported and cared for – even if it is only for 90 minutes out of each day.

Why I Teach ELA

Stories have permeated my life. When I was a little girl my granny told me the story of the three little pigs whenever I was at her house. My mom also read me a story every night. At family gatherings I would listen from the sidelines to my uncle’s recount the glory days of high school football. At that time I could not wait to learn to read and join the world of stories that swirled around me.

I believe in the power of stories. Stories both read and told; both written and unwritten. Stories give us the power to learn and the power to have our own voice.

I remember distinctly the day my granny gave me my first chapter book. Excitement pulsed through my veins as I dove into the first chapter. This chapter book was different from all the others books I had read. It didn’t have any pictures. My granny explained to me that this book was better, because my mind and imagination would paint the pictures.

As I continued to develop as a reader, I read everything I could get my hands on (shampoo bottles, encyclopedias, can food labels). And in those moments I realized that I did not want to be just a consumer of stories, but a producer of stories. Since then I have read, written, and told stories. I have also began to teach. I have met new and inspiring people and lost those who inspired me most as a child.1931312_1080739099979_5999_n

My granny is gone, but she left me with her passion for stories. A passion for reading, writing and telling stories. A passion that I hope to pass on to my students. And that is why I teach!!