Jazzlyne Jackson and Shinethia Ivey
DescriptionFriends and coworkers Jazzlyne Jackson (23) and Shinethia Ivey (58) share a conversation about what led them to become teachers, how they ended up working at the same school, the value of connecting with students, and the challenges and rewards that have come with teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Jazzlyne Jackson
- Shinethia Ivey
Recording LocationMildred L. Terry Public Library
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00:02 Hello. Today, I am shinethia Ivey. I am 58 years old and it is Sunday. October 24th, 2021. We are in Columbus Georgia. And I'm being interviewed or in a conversation with my teacher friend. Jazlyn Jackson. We work together. We are first grade teachers and we are finding ourselves to be kind of like the Motley Crue.
00:37 We think alike, I'm walking.
00:41 She's wonderful. I am jazz on Jackson. I am 23 years old. Today is Sunday, October 24th, 2021. We are in Columbus Georgia and I am with Miss Cynthia, Ivy Collins, and she is definitely my teacher friend and my teacher mentor.
01:07 Okay, and talking today, with Jaslyn girl. What made you become a teacher. That's interesting. Cuz when I had three jobs in my back pocket, I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be an artist and I wanted to be a chef As I Grew Older. Two of those fell off teacher. Kept kind of staying with me. I was working with kids, a lot of catering students. I was a School Mentor in my school for younger kids and everyone just kept telling me. You need to be a teacher. You need to be a teacher bought that off a lot because I got older, the first account with them. I had his come on the job that can make me some money. And I learned how much a teacher makes have not happy with that.
01:55 I would take around and try to find something else to do, but my junior year of high school. I was in my room and I was doing a devotional for that day and it was versus red before. But it is like the spiritual gifts that God gives you and it hit with teacher and all the sudden like I just felt convicted really hard. I was just praying about it and he's now you're going to be a teacher, take it, but figure out what you need to do next and let's move forward because this is what I have for you and like, okay. Well, okay. So the teaching is a second career. I'm retired. I retired from the Army. I serve 21, glorious years. I love to say basically I join the Army. I dropped the Kool-Aid. I loved it. It was everything to me. I gave me Focus, gave me drive.
02:53 It gave me directions and actually in the Army. I was a teacher. I as you go through the ranks, you you basically teach the others coming to you, the things that you now. So you make a cookbook to give directions on how to advance and promotions how to advance in life, and you become a counselor or Mentor a teacher.
03:19 So when I was younger, I always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. My kindergarten teacher name was Miss Barbara. She smelled like sunshine. She was, she was so wonderful and she called me sunshine. And the first five letters of my name is shine. So, and actually the first four letters of my middle name is love. So my mom used to say, oh, you shine love everywhere you go. So I was like, dang, you should have called me Daisy, and but I digress. She was such a wonderful person. She, she taught me that I didn't have to be tough cuz I was coming up in the 70s late, 60s, 70s, and being African American life could be kind of hard. So she's basically was the first person to allow me to be me to last to not always have to be strong. Not always have to be responsible and I wanted to do.
04:19 That for other kids. But at my young age, I didn't realize that's what I wanted. But I got pregnant in high school. And so I needed a job. I always wanted to join the Army also cuz I would have to pick out my clothes. I had used to be a horrible thing for me to do everyday and try to figure out what I wanted to wear. So the army, they give you a uniform. I was like, you know what, I'm doing an army. So I did ROTC in high school and I loved it. So, after being in the Army, in the Army, teaching me all the wonderful things that it taught me when I retired, I didn't at first, I didn't know what to do with myself.
04:58 So I was volunteering working with pto's on Fort Benning and I was allowing myself to be, as you said, fall into my what I'm supposed to do next. Right. Which is very hard when you're retiring from doing something for over 20 years. That's what you do. And so
05:22 I just have always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. So the VA, I told them, you know, I really think I would be a really good kindergarten teacher and they're like, well, list blessing you to be a, get your degree. So you can be a kindergarten teacher and I have to thank them because they help me, give me Focus to cuz I was always intimidated about going to college because I didn't get to go do that. I want to be with all those young kids, but I went, I had a fabulous experience at CSU. So notice everything happened. Here. We hadn't come to Fort Benning. I don't know where I would be right now. Probably be a nurse cuz in the Army, I taught my medicine cuz I was a medic, so I was in the medical field, but then I found when I retired every time I was around someone sick, I would get that symptoms.
06:13 Hypochondriac. Yes, that would be me.
06:19 I told him about the VA. I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. They help me get into school. They helped me get through school cuz trying to be a wife. My husband was an officer trying to do all the things that I needed to do for that and be a mother. And I have become a grandmother, LOL. And my daughter was a legacy cuz she joined the army. I had a lot going on and we were all everybody was going to work. I'm in back cuz Afghanistan was going on. It was a lot is being becoming a kindergarten teacher. Help me to stay grounded. It help me stay safe. And getting the love in the sky. Shower from all those babies everyday is what made me become a teacher. I know long story.
07:03 But that's awesome. Because I love to hear that. Even for you kind of everything happens for you here and I feel like with me with my journey of becoming a teacher. That's the same thing. Like I came to see us do not. My first choice guided here. And then once I got here, my genie year, I was approached by the Disco the district and CSU and how I say we're doing a pilot program. We need for Education, major students to go in be paid as a full-time teacher, but you're also a full-time student and you're teaching your classroom. And then once you graduate, you just have to work in the district cool, one more year and they are free to go and feel like it's okay for you to pay for your while. You were in school. They paid your tuition went towards my toolshed, which was amazing because I had in that process. I lost one of my scholarships because of the timing of everything. So getting that paycheck and being able to see,
08:03 Samantha scholarship. Awesome. And it gave me my start with teaching. Oh my goodness, these things. They did not teach us in these classes. I'm about to figure it out. My hair right now. Nothing like learning on the Fly and then being able to have an automatic job, right? When the pet pandemic hit like I knew, I need another job that you where are the other people are starting to lose theirs and see their my oh my goodness. I have this awesome safety net and I would not have that if I wasn't, it is important. You don't think about it, but I is
08:43 It's a good deal is rewarding and you were getting paid to do what you were already going to do. So you just got started earlier. That was no, that's that was awesome. How was it working? And going to school and doing all those papers? Did you have to do it PPS? It was a really frustrating thing is like our assignments. Where do the same stuff? We push it back a little bit. We'll have it done before but it was all calendar. Everything. I would go into work at 6 a.m. And 7 p.m. And I go home and work for another three hours. So what school were you at? I was at Dorothy Height for my first year and then I transferred to MLK after that and then fell in love with him. Okay? And let me stay.
09:43 And Dorothy Height did the other teachers help you with understanding how to what grade did you teach for me? Because I know where they need to be home and get something with the teacher that I had awesome teachers there. That definitely helped me out. If I was there late. There, there late. Tell me, showing me things and then taking me out to make sure I go get sleep at night, but they are awesome in tours during that time or second grade team.
10:25 I see that's what I was saying about. When I join you guys over at MLK. You got what every school I was at. I've been at Forest Road Blanchard. And now I'm at MLK and every school. Everybody has been so welcoming. It's like a Sisterhood sister Brotherhood. Which coming from the Army, that's type of stuff. I need, I need family. I need relationship and it helps to make the classroom in the school and extension of the family night. So, I love that. You were able to get that opportunity. That means you're like, you like soup. I knew you were smart, man, all that stuff. We're doing it schooling. And it has been so awesome to have something. I'll do. You guys are so much younger than me and you all have pitched in and said, hey, come on, you don't I'll do I know I'm a little slow with stuff but you like come on and that's because someone did it for you so we can keep doing that for each other. That is awesome.
11:26 With all that technology that I help you with some yes, that I swear. I'm not the one I had a bunch of different things and getting those skills. I start finding new ones. And then like trying new things do teachers that I had virtually for Spanish and stuff. That like a real teachers in real life, use this to in your class. I just passed it on to y'all. Do we need. I'm sorry. I could you all lost. Not only are you text me, but you also speak speak Spanish when you went to MLK. Did you know, they had a big Hispanic population. That's part of the reason why I wanted to be. So you did pop part of your interview in Spanish now didn't have to, but it was something that was discussed and it was something on the lines of me eventually wanting to become an ESL teacher and Miss. Bentley knew that I was like, let's take you.
12:26 But when I was going through the transferring process, my mentor from CSU. She like Loki speak Spanish. He had Spanish-speaking kids and Dorothy. Height's, let's get you somewhere where they have more of that and you can use it cuz I seen you do it at Brewer. When you went up there the other day, I seen you do it here. Let's put you in that situation since that's what you want to do. So when we were looking at schools for me to transfer to, it was definitely looking at a list of schools, where that's the highest population to give me that opportunity to further me where I want to go in the future. Yes. I love when I hear you've been a key. I don't do what she said. It's been so awesome being next door to you. Like I said, with the, with the help with the Hispanic speaking students or the Spanish-speaking students, and then the help with the technology.
13:21 Technology. I'm like baby. Do you know how old I am? Look at all this stuff in the kids Tik Tok and I'm like, I don't think we're supposed to do that. Let me talk to someone first so talking to you and and then the data and filling out the data forms and your shortcuts. Oh my God, so you're saying it. You just picked it up. Yeah, cuz I I hated technology. Like I like the basics of it, but I didn't want to get
13:54 Find it. But becoming a teacher made me have to learn and like the one she heard I was struggling with technology. She is the one that sat down with me for hours and hours and hours and learn how to do different stuff to now where I'm reaching out and doing that on my own to benefit. And I just want to share with you. I was like, hey, you found something quick and easy to do. Let's try it. I am so glad cuz the it's obvious, that's where everything is going to. They've given everybody want to one computers the next thing as well. Why are they sitting in the car? Lets you use them in right? Let's do these different things, as matter. Fact. Last week. I put the kids on typing.com and now they're asking to do it cuz they want to learn how to type and I said, maybe by the end, they could type of paper or you know, just an informational typing, we'll see. But I get that motivation to initiate their soul.
14:54 Before we were even started to talk, he was, how eager they are. They are like little sponges and I'm like, I don't have enough time to soak up, but I still having you right next door. Oh my goodness. God knew what he was due to what I needed, and I'm really blessed to be at MLK cuz I love the atmosphere and the environment. All the kids are really cool and happy and I can't wait for us to start book club.
15:29 I can't wait. That's going to be great. I got kids. Keep telling me. I'm ready. Let's go. They thought it was Friday. They're like, what the fuck is bringing. I brought my phone back. I don't like, I want you to be excited about reading. Exactly. I have one child. She said we got months until it comes up, but I went and looked up the did the research on it. And when we do the team, it's like a it's supposed to be a eight person team with each grade represented K first second. And third, I was like, oh, okay and is sponsored by University of George. I didn't even know that. That's so the Helen Ruffin reading bowl and it's under that. I was like, okay, let me find out more. So I'm glad that you willing to take that.
16:29 Call and be the lead and I'm going to follow your lead. Yes, the other team work together. Well wing it together. The whole know, it's going to be great. Yeah, we'll figure it out cuz I have more kids, I could do this. Okay. And see by the time it might be like other things, you know, the kids start off doing it and then because of scheduling conflicts, they might not be able to be there for the actual competition and at least we'll have people we could choose from cuz they say you have your cake through third, send it to chairs and you're missing a first grader. You can't put a third or second grader or kindergartener in that chair. It has to be someone who's in first grade. So we'll just have an empty chair but no cuz we have enough people on today.
17:29 Have replacement chair, one chair to cheer. Three player, one player, two, player related to gain stuff cuz that's what the kids are into Minecraft, trying to get me in trouble for breaking a minute, to figure out how we can put that fortnite in math. Like they did with the sight words and learning them quicker.
18:05 I got excited to you like the kitchen while doing the dance and it's fantastic trying to teach me today since I'm a little arms and they're like, no you got to switch broke, a whatever. This switch is. I'm doing it to floss 15 times already. Why can you not do it right before I go? Look at not built that way. I don't, I don't know what I'm doing, but it's hilarious with it. I think they keeping me young. I not think it's entertaining to you. You'll get to see you're already young so well.
18:54 Let me find this real quick on my lunch break cuz this is another name for for one of our writings there for we were doing getting ready to go into informational writing and I say tick tock cuz that's all they want to know. That's that's that's the county computer go on Tik-Tok at home. Don't do it here. Trying to get us all. Why y'all trying to get me a
19:19 So they write, what can I write about it? Yes, you can write about it. And if you want to make a math problem about it, let's write that math problem about it. So trying to bring what they're doing at home into the skin to the classroom and help them learn. That would be that's that's awesome. I love doing that. Did you like, teaching Tennessee, that awful moment with them then?
19:45 That when that light comes on, it, just feels right cuz then all the sudden, that's all they want to do that. Like me to show you when we said you want me to tell you and it's great already have kids with that with certain things and that kids on the cusp of it and it's just cool to see cuz now they just don't want to stop. Yes. I do think that there is a difference in teaching in person this year and and the hybrid teaching that we had to do last year where somewhere online and somewhere in the classroom. I love that the kids and their families are supportive of trying to keep us all healthy and safe and willing to wear their masks. Are you what are you experiencing in your classroom? My parents of my students, definitely make sure that they are mask ready or break this 15 pack their likeness Jackson, you didn't have to pull yours out and got it and my kids coming back. That's all day long. They have a trip to the clothing to make sure they're good, parents, and text me say, hey, I'm turning into more.
20:45 Herb and for you and white cuz we just want to keep everybody safe and clean. So they're definitely all about keeping everyone safe in our classroom sanitizer. But okay, we're going to call the hanitizer. Got it. Let me get some more. I have the hanitizer and a sanitizer on deck. And we need to keep it right here. And I love that. They are so invested. They decided where we were going to put things in the room. I had no idea where I was put up, but when they came in to make the room functional for them, they started rearranging. I was like, well, who told you to rearrange the furniture but you know what, I like that. I like what you're doing. So they're taking initiative and they're helping their like, well, you know, you like my grandma. Nope. I'm not but but I guess I am.
21:41 But no not really but I get it yet. But that's just how comfortable they are with you light with them. They are so drawn to you and feel so comfortable. I have only been to the school, this first semester, and other kids are now coming up. I see you around. I think I want to hug you. Okay? After school, she could have kept that but okay. Think I love that love. I love that smile and it allows them to be happy and with this pandemic and people have had to change their lifestyle change the way they do things, like when we were writing about experiences. I had a baby who said she had never swans on a swing. She's never been to the playground and I thought about it and she had never been to Walmart.
22:41 Our stuff is delivered. My mama. Go to walmart.com. I was like, oh my goodness. We got to get her to the playground and Coach took him to the play. He heard me talking about it. So the little girl and I was like, we're going to get you on that playground and he took them all out to the playground. It was she came back talking about those swings that is
23:07 Then I was like, did you enjoy it? Did you hear the air? Yes. It was so much fun. I was up with the birds. I was like, I know you, but okay. You just did a comparison. I love that because we had just talked about that compare and contrast. I need experiences and they're not able to get them because, you know, we've been keeping them safe, keeping them inside, keeping it away from each other and they're happy to be together and they're happy to have these experiences now. And I'm happy to help facilitate it and allow all this learning, most of my class. We had ice cream sandwiches on Friday. They had never had an ice cream sandwich. No popsicles. You didn't know about ice cream sandwich. I had ice cream and hair ice cream on ears.
24:05 You were eating ice cream with your hair. No, I don't know how that got us. So I have the cutest little and adults with these little people and I'm like, you little people make me smile, Miss Ivy, you make us smile. And that makes me feel so good. I love it. So I ask you can tell, I got excited. I got loud. I like to eat you.
24:27 I like the kids. That's a great thing. Like they need that they need to know that I do enjoy being around them. Enjoy teaching them cuz then they're going to enjoy one from you and enjoy showing you what they're learning from you. Yes, and again, not being afraid of everything, cuz the one who went on the swing, she was afraid of butterflies. And I mean, I said go outside. Go to recess issues and I'll stand here with you. I don't want anything to get on me, but now she's outside. She's running, she screaming with everybody. She fell down. She got up. She dusted himself off. She kept going and teaching it perseverance that. Keep going that stick to it. I love it. I I think teaching is a wonderful career as they say that it's the career that sets up all the other career. So I am glad to be here. Having this conversation with you about teaching. So where you from
25:27 Born in California, California. Now, wait a minute. Where in California San Francisco, Bay Area, Antioch, California coast to coast, baby. I know, right, my parents that they say, the whole spiritual thing for them. They felt like God LED them here. My dad was forced to be medically, retired due to an injury at work, and he couldn't perform his job while he was up, corrections officer in a federal prison out there. So can't walk can't really, do you dial correctly with that? My mom was working for a bank at the time and they just kept saying stuff about Atlanta all over the place. I start praying about it. Like we have never seen so much stuff about Atlanta and our lives till now why you keep showing his commercials about Atlanta, buying houses in Atlanta, all this other stuff. So they ended up moving out here.
26:27 And we built our house and it's hilarious because our neighbors that are right across the street that I'm great friends with their kids were also from California and they're from Two Cities over and they just moved a few months ago into the area. So it was awesome connection and just been here since you know, the Army brought us here. So, you know, we're learning about the westward expansion and social studies. So you did that Manifest Destiny and I can reverse. Okay, got it. I got it. I got it. Did you did you like enjoy growing up in Atlanta? Cuz it's got to be different from Columbus. So much to do there is stuff to do here, too. But so many people and the highway, oh my gosh. Yea, I'm blessed that. I was like right in the metro area of Atlanta so I can run on the outskirts of it. So I ran as a short drive quote on quote supposed to be but really a 30-minute Drive turns
27:27 Do you like an hour and a half trying to get in there? But I like having you so close that I could drive up. Go do some stuff that I enjoyed, and come back out and not have to deal with it. I do like really want to move in straight into the city of it and live there. I'm not like a big driving person. I don't like to drink, so I have no problem. Walking taking the train, whatever. But it's different than being here. I feel like here in Columbus. Everybody kind of knows everybody. You see everybody? And it's great. It's cool. But sometimes I like being a person when you don't know me, like, I walk in your eyes. You have never seen me before in your life and probably won't see me again. It's fabulous cuz you know, if I embarrass myself a iPhone and I have no idea, I don't even know why that's all it is there.
28:27 Workers are going to see me again. It's probably parents and their that is feeding me. Neighbors and tell her I saw you at Walmart yesterday. You just took a huge spill them that I was like, thanks, that's fabulous. But I mean, I like it. But then for different reasons why I like the small-town, feel at times, you know, that's what I like about it. The river down here, has become my favorite. Beautiful. So sorry, but for you, with being in the military, I'm sure you've lived in a lot of different places. So what was your favorite place?
29:14 But well not if you got to take good contacts to this cuz sometimes being in a tent is underrated.
29:25 I grew fond of going to the field as I could see stars at night. I get, I mean learning about the astronomy and seeing it is two different things. And I don't know if my favorite assignment was. I was stationed in Italy. Yeah, but it was
29:49 It was wonderful and I made sure to take advantage of the tours and things that they offer it. So I went to China factories. Are they call it? And ceramic has I went to Marble caves to see how they get the marble out from underground, and how heavy it is, and how they chisel it down. To get it into pieces and pottery manufacturers, where they actually did pottery.
30:18 And it was. So Italy was so old, it was like, oh my gosh, I went to Venice baby. They gave me tickets. I went to a fashion show in Milan and I was like, I wouldn't have never been able to do that. I mean it. So I would have to say Italy was my that's that's yes, but in the states
30:46 It's a little-known secret but Fort Leonard Wood. Missouri is the bomb.com. They take care of families. The area was I guess I love the country. I love rule. I love being able to see cows and I lived in a house that in the morning. I would see the crowds walking out to pasture and then an afternoon, I'm still coming back that mean I was coming out. It's time to go home because there was so many opportunities and things for my kids to do so, Fort. Leonard Wood, Missouri.
31:24 That was the best place in America. I also love to Korea. You can get anything made. They are so creative art that everything. But I tell you, I wanted to live in Atlanta. I wanted to live in Atlanta because of the High Museum, I grew up just always hearing about this Museum and I wanted to just like the museum in in New York. I will plan to go there one day. I think it's the Museum of something. That's like, Moshe or something like that. I can I know the acronym, but I don't know the name of the museum and I love going to museums. I love the Columbus Museum, and they do so many wonderful activities and things. So I and I'm, we live in Midland. We got a nice little parcel. We have a little lamb and not too close to our neighbors, not too far away. It's not an acre. Like my husband wanted, we had to
32:24 I didn't want to be on an acre cuz I was afraid. I'd be afraid at night cuz I don't cuz I need to see City but it feels like the city but it also has that country feels. I am really loving this area.
32:38 And I love to travel and I know that you plan to travel soon or at some point. So when covid goes away, we can all open back up that passport, and go see the world and do more things that come back and tell her students all about it. I know I'd be awesome. I would be, you know, it's been pretty cool sitting here. Talk talking to you. I think the time is winding down and I didn't even, I didn't even realize it.
33:11 And I haven't gotten totally out of, I'd played out of pocket because you know, normally when I'm nervous, I tell all kind of jokes and stuff and I've been pretty saying thank you. I think you've been doing awesome, too.
33:28 So is there anything else we should talk about.
33:32 Well, girl, we did this. I can't wait to hear it. Thank you. Thank you for talking with me today.