The Sequoyah Scribe

New Teacher Joins 8th Grade

Solomon Blair, Staff Writer

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Lacie Jessee is a new eighth grade Language Arts teacher. This is her second year teaching Language Arts; before coming to Sevier Middle, she taught ninth grade honors English at Greenville High School. Before she became the teacher she is today, she was a professionally trained Shakespearean actress.

“I was Hero in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ , a bandit in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ , Tamora in ‘Titus Andronicus’ , and Mustard Seed in a traveling, modern adaptation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ,” she said.

Eventually, she started to grow away from theatre and wanted to look for a new career.

“The things I loved the most about theatre, reading the scripts, developing characters, telling
stories, those are all things I get to do now every day in the classroom,” Jessee said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Despite originally not wanting to be a teacher, like most of her family, she found that teaching Language Arts would be the perfect job for her. She also believes that she has found her preferred level of teaching in middle school instead of high school, If she were to pick another subject to teach, it would most likely be history. Even though she has only been teaching at Sevier for one year, she already has a favorite moment while teaching.

“When I was doing my internship at Sevier, I was working with Sara Gourley as my mentor teacher,” Jessee said. “Every day in that environment is a favorite memory. Watching her helped me become the teacher I am today. Her students welcomed me and embraced me. If she had to choose, she would say the day they threw her a surprise birthday party was the best memory.”

“Mrs. Gourley sent me on some random errand, and when I returned, the students had decorated the classroom and brought in a cake,” she said “They all gave me little gifts and homemade cards. It was all the students’ idea. It was the sweetest, greatest day.”

While in high school she met her favorite teacher, who she aspires to be like.

“Ms. Bailiff was my 11th grade English teacher,” Jessee said. “To this day, I think she is the best teacher I ever had. She made students think, and dig deeper into a text, but in a really fun and engaging way. She also developed strong, positive relationships with her students. You knew she cared about you. I hope I am half the teacher she was.”

On the other hand, Jessee also met a teacher that helped her learn what not to do when teaching.

“She was my 8th grade ELA teacher and I hated her,” she said. “She was so mean. However, because of her, I know how not to teach. I work really hard to make sure my class is never as miserable as hers was, and I work really hard to make sure I never make any of my students feel as insignificant and inferior as she did.”

She also has some advice for upcoming eighth graders in her class next year.

“Be respectful,” she said. “Don’t talk when others are talking, stay on task, and have a good attitude. If you do those things, we will get along just fine.”

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New Teacher Joins 8th Grade