I am Grey Jones. I received my BA from UNC Greensboro. I subsequently attended UNC Asheville, where I received both my master's degree and my teaching certification in English Language Arts.
I teach AP Language and Composition, Honors English III, Honors Essentials for College Writing, and Honors Speech and Debate. Syllabi, daily plans, assignments, units, and standards may be found on the course Canvas pages. I am excited to continue this journey serving the community of lifelong learners at Greensboro College Middle College as we engage, challenge, and empower our students.
I believe that the cornerstone of any successful classroom is empathy. This includes empathy between teachers and students and empathy between students and their peers. Creating empathy in the classroom further fosters a greater level of understanding both of ourselves and of others in the world-at-large.
In order to create an empathetic environment within the classroom, I feel that empathy must first be modeled. As the teacher, I will lead by example, seeking to not only meet the students where they are emotionally and academically, but also seeking to understand each individual student from their own perspective. I will ask them how they feel rather than tell them how I think they feel. I will assist them in claiming their voices, in knowing that their voices matter, both in the classroom and in the greater world, by acknowledging and honoring their ideas and contributions. Along with this, I will concentrate on restorative justice in the classroom, focusing on the needs of the victims, the offenders, and the involved community, rather than relying on more punitive policies. I will strive to build a shared community based on mutual respect and gratitude in which students may develop a sense of safety, acknowledgement, and security. I will also coax students away from the “one right answer” model, encouraging a sense of discovery, curiosity, and outside-the-box thinking.
Building from the cornerstone of empathy, I intend to create an equitable, multicultural environment using strategies designed to provide knowledge to students of the contributions, cultures, and histories of diverse groups. I will incorporate the integration of content from the perspectives of diverse groups and the avoidance of hegemonic curriculum and a mono-cultural viewpoint. I plan to highlight the ways in which knowledge is constructed, and by whom it is constructed, through classroom investigations into biases and the ways in which they are formed and perpetuated. My intention is to modify my teaching where necessary, and meet students where they are, in order to facilitate the academic achievements of students of diverse backgrounds. It is my desire to bridge the gap between home/community culture and school culture by understanding the importance of cultural context in student/teacher interactions, and by honoring the culture(s) with which each student identifies. I will avoid being a grammar elitist, and rather attempt to emphasize expectations and assignments in meaningful ways in which culturally diverse students may participate and relate. I will also try to promote and affirm solidarity in the teacher/student relationship, and to encourage my students to become agents of change as we learn through our work together to participate in and to create change for a more equitable society.
During every class, I will remind students, "We stand strong and united in our classroom community. We are in this together." And so we are. I make it my mission to create an environment where every student feels seen and heard. They may not remember every lesson I teach them. They may not remember every text I assign them, or every assessment I give them. But, as the late great Maya Angelou said, “they will remember how you made them feel.” Seen and heard. Seen and heard.