"It was amazing how you could get so far from where you’d planned, and yet find it was exactly where you needed to be."
Teaching was not the dream but became the purpose. My love for sharing stories sparked a passion for journalism and theatre at a young age.
Life took me down a different path in 2001 when I began working at a private academy in North St. Louis. At the time, the school was housed in a boys and girls club and served low income families. My passion shifted into exploring tactics and materials to give these children the best education with limited resources. From this passion, I became a first grade teacher for three years and then transitioned to a charter school where I also taught fourth grade. This school was housed in a high rise building, downtown St. Louis, with no recess. I proposed a performing arts component and the next year transitioned into a full time theatre teacher for the elementary school. I developed a theatre curriculum for grades k-5. The school had over 500 students with five to six classes per grade level. I brought theatre to them all.
Despite being in higher academia today, three core values have always been inherent in my teaching.
Embracing my student’s differences and paradigms is crucial to their success in my courses. It is imperative that one’s teaching style is presented in a myriad of ways to speak to varied points of perspective in the space. I have taught students from a wide range of abilities. I am accountable to ensure accommodations for all to have an inclusive experience.
Relationship: (I will know your name)
Inclusiveness does not exist without relationship. Time must be given to acknowledge who is in the room. Safe spaces are only created through trust. Trust will not exist without community building and respect mirrored from the leader.
I believe students should be taught to take ownership over their learning. I am here to provide tools but the work comes from internal exploration and processing. I am not present to tell one how to think. Merely to say, what is your perspective on this? I implore students to take onus of their art. What is your story to share with the world? What can you contribute? How will you leave your mark?
VIEW JACQUELINE THOMPSON'S CV HERE