MTC '18 Spotlight: Tyler Jump
NAME: TYLER JUMP
COLLEGE: THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
PLACEMENT: W.A. HIGGINS MIDDLE SCHOOL (CLARKSDALE, MS)
1. What made you want to join the Mississippi Teacher Corps?
I joined the Mississippi Teacher Corps, because I wanted a hands-on learning experience involving culture in the South. The original reason I considered Ole Miss was because of my interest in the Southern Studies program; but when I stumbled upon the Mississippi Teacher Corps, I knew it was the right program for me, especially since I was already teaching back home. Furthermore, I wanted to do something that very few people at my age are doing. I have friends back home who are working in skyscrapers and metropolitan areas all over the country, but I have no friends who moved to small southern towns in the effort of relieving poverty in any way.
2. You just finished your first semester of teaching. How challenging was it?
My first semester teaching in the Mississippi Delta was eye-opening to say the least. I was told in our summer courses about the issues that affect education in the state, but seeing and dealing with challenges first hand is much different than having them explained to you. I think this semester was also very rewarding in the sense that I was able to create relationships with many of my students and co-workers. Creating relationships and establishing norms in the first place was challenging because of the culture shock that hit me when I came to the region that is sometimes called the most southern place on Earth.
3. We know you also coached football. If you would, talk about that experience.
Coaching football this fall was a highly beneficial experience with its own unique challenges. The experience was definitely rewarding, and it was fun traveling to various schools throughout the region. For anyone looking to teach in the Delta, I would recommend coaching at least one sport because it gives you a few more hours of interaction after school with your students every day. The most challenging part of coaching for anyone will probably be gaining the trust of the students you are coaching.
4. What is your favorite thing about living in the Delta?
To people that ask me about what it’s like to live in the Delta, I always say that living here has huge pros and cons. The biggest pro to me is living in a region of America that has a richer history than most of the country. The biggest con to me would be living so far from home, but it’s worth it to me at this point in my life to learn about this region and all of the wonderful things it has to offer. I think the Mississippi Teacher Corps is one of the best opportunities that has ever been presented to me; and for anyone that gets this opportunity, do not pass it up. Also, listen to the advice of those who taught before you.