The Modern Educator | Olivia Jarman

Data-driven. Passionate. Analytical. Innovative. That's you. That's the Modern Educator. You recognize that being an educator means using data and technology to see the unique story and experience of each child.  The Modern Educator series seeks to highlight the individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving education. You motivate us. You inspire us. We salute you

Olivia Jarman joins me today from Columbia School District in Columbia, Mississippi. Olivia enthusiastically teaches English at Columbia High School. 

Okay, Olivia. I've re-written all of my interview questions, so get ready! You are the first to answer a whole new set! 
Robert Reeder: We'll start off easy. First, where did you go to school?
Olivia Jarman: The University of Southern Mississippi (SMTTT!) 

RR: To the Top! What would you like to see changed in education?
OJ: Funding. There are so many resources I wish we had access to in the classroom. Oh, the lessons I could teach and activities we could do...

RR: I bet! I know a lot of people feel that way. What was your favorite subject in school and why? 
OJ: I actually have two: English and History. I love to experience and learn about different cultures and peoples of the past and present. The literature I read in my high school English classes allowed me to do just that by traveling, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. This entirely fictional world seemed so real: these characters had feelings to express, stories to tell, and lives to live. History taught me the opposite of literature. It taught me about reality, about the world, and about the people in the world. It showed me the importance of humanity.

RR: Thanks for such a thoughtful answer! Ok, what's your favorite cafeteria lunch?
OJ: Thanksgiving lunch! We have turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole...

RR: Well, I'm officially hungry now! I hear you are quite a traveler. What's on your bucket list?
OJ: I want to become certified to scuba dive, free dive, and spear fish. I also want to skydive, hike the Appalachian Trail, and travel to places near and far. 

RR: That's an awesome list! I hope you do all those things and more! Final question: what advice would you give someone starting out in education?
OJ: It's okay to be wrong or not know the answer! Sometimes, I mess up. I'm in the wrong. One of the most rewarding experiences is accepting that in front of my students and moving forward. I love being able to model humility for my students. I'm imperfect. I'm okay with that. 

RR: I'm pretty ok with you, too Olivia! Thanks so much for talking with me, and for your adventurous dedication to education! Cheers! 

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