Interviews conducted by Ms. Q, Academic Committee Representative for South County CTE
The teachers in the Downtown Los Angeles jails, Men's Central and Twin Towers, are doing amazing work. In some of the harshest conditions in the county, the teachers bring their enthusiasm, knowledge and support in to their students and every day. Offering CTE and Life Skills courses, Five Keys students are given an opportunity to transform their habits and perspectives through the guidance of their instructors. Often teaching inside dorms, or otherwise sharing multipurpose spaces, the team of teachers transform any space they are in to one of learning and reflection.
In this Feature Teacher article we have two interviews with this transformative team conducted by Ms. Q, also a teacher. Read on to get to know your colleagues Ms. Jen and George Spotville!
4. What are you most likely to become famous for?
“…Truthfully, I would love to be regarded as one of the many strong, educated advocates in the fields of mental health and substance use disorders within my community, moreover, I would be immensely humbled to be viewed as an empowering force for positive change and advocacy among my students…in their daily struggles with various afflictions from trauma, diagnosed mental health disorders, untreated substance use disorders, illiteracy or English language comprehension issues. “
5. What advice would you give a teacher who wants to practice more self-care?
“Spoil yourself regularly. Find something you love that takes you outside of your head and make it a priority during the week. Personally, I love hikes, boxing, massages, dinners with friends and family, weekend excursions for mountain time, and I’ve learned to not sacrifice my “Jen Time” for anything or anyone else. When I’m doing good emotionally and mentally, everyone benefits, especially my students...”
1) Name/Title: George Spotville, Life Skills Instructor
2) What is the best advice that you have received as a teacher?
“The best advice I have received from a family member.... She simply said…take your job seriously, prepare and take your charge seriously, because you have the power to make a difference in student’s lives.”
3) What is your inspiration for teaching?
“My inspiration for teaching lies in the fact that I get the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Teachers can single handedly make a difference and give back by sowing into others to spark…a paradigm shift in thinking.”
4) What are you most likely to become famous for?
“I am most likely going to become famous for working in the communities to make a difference in empowering others to be the change, and becoming self-reliant, and empowering one another economically and educationally. “
5) What advice would you give a teacher who wants to practice more self-care?
“Take time for yourself, make sure to set aside time to do you. Take the time to spend with family and friends, or simply just be alone with you and whatever pleasures you, reading, getting away to the lake to fish, just that time you need to make you happy.”
*Answers have been shorten for brevity