Say Hello to Ms. Jerkins

Here at PeakStudentMedia we’ve covered a plethora of topics throughout the year, but one subject remains constant, new teachers. Ending off our year with our final new teacher segment we’ll be covering Ms. Jerkins. 

Similar to our other new teachers, Ms. Jerkins was also born and raised in North Carolina and she grew up mostly in the Charlotte area. She grew up with two other siblings with her being the youngest out of her brother and sister. When asked if she were to get famous what it would be for she replied that it would be for writing a bestseller. Outside of teaching English and writing novels, Ms. Jerkins is very athletic. She grew up playing a lot of basketball, but surprisingly she got into cycling and she even proclaims to be an avid road cycling enthusiast. Keeping with the theme of being outdoorsy, Ms. Jerkins described her ideal day as being with her family at the beach eating a bunch of food and listening to great music at all times. To contrast, for her time alone or indoors Ms. Jerkins really enjoys Stranger Things and can’t wait for the new season to come out. 

As you may have guessed from her ambitions and passion for writing, Ms. Jerkins is an English teacher. Surprisingly, she mentioned that if she were not to teach then she would instead be rapping and publishing poetry. Growing up around her father who was a biology teacher and then an administrator for over 25 years was primarily the influence for her desire to teach. She followed through in his footsteps and  graduated from N.C. Central University where she studied Mass Communications, but she’s still not done as Ms. Jerkins is pursuing her masters in creative writing at the Queens University of Charlotte. Ms. Jerkins stayed ahead of the game because she started as a teaching assistant as soon as possible during her undergraduate years. She’s also been teaching for a fair amount of time as she taught the youth at her church, and now she brings her skills over to Apex High. When asked what it is that sets her apart from other teachers, Ms. Jerkins said that she tries to be the teacher she would have wanted in high school.. She believes her most redeeming quality as a teacher is that she brings a great balance of being kind, rewarding, and sincere. Ms. Jerkins has formed her teaching philosophy around the basis of being the best version of yourself that you can be, and she hopes to model that to her students who would take her advice moving forward. She also tries to make lessons interactive for her students and not just read from a textbook and do busy work. Her favorite strategy to use is doing any and all forms of trivia. Not only does this provide a way of reinforcing what’s already been taught, but it’s also a fun time with chances of getting rewards. 

As for adjusting to Apex High, Ms. Jerkins explained it’s been a breeze as two of her kids have already graduated from here, so she’s familiar with the atmosphere of the school, and she’s even mentioned about having a great mentor like Ms. Dott and the whole group of teachers from the English department to guide and welcome her. 

As for her classes, Ms. Jerkins currently teaches English II. An advice she has for all students alike is to get back into the rhythm of being disciplined and being productive. She proclaims that the pandemic has created a very lazy mindset from our time in quarantine and she understands it can be difficult to stay motivated, but we need to readjust back into our productive lifestyles. She mentioned that she even struggled with a similar mindset when she was in school. Procrastination was a big problem, but she fixed it by keeping herself accountable and forming a to-do list to work through her most important tasks throughout the day, all the while rewarding herself with small incentives as she finishes her work. As for advice for her students that will or are taking her class she says, “You are going to have to work hard to NOT work in my class – so you might as well just work!” As for her parting words she recommends that you build connections throughout high school. Identify staff or even other peers who share the same career/subject interests as you and get as much as information as you can to better prepare for your future. 

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