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Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

Jessica Jenkins enriches students’ lives

Jessica+Jenkins+gives+a+detailed+response+to+a+students+question%2C+because+she+values+a+comprehensive+teaching+style.
Grace Pearl
Jessica Jenkins gives a detailed response to a student’s question, because she values a comprehensive teaching style.

With vivid purple hair, Jessica Jenkins makes an immediate impression. However, those familiar with her, like her students, know of the even livelier personality hiding beneath her outer shell. Jenkins, the teacher of two beloved history courses, AP United States History and African American Studies Honors, is known for her personable approach to her students.

Although Jenkins did not realize her passion for sometime, her interests early on for history, historical fiction books, and the concept of “right or wrong” were telltale signs for her future career and why she has been teaching for ten years. 

“So as I served in the military, and after the election of 2000 and spending some time in DC, I realized that I really wanted to make a difference [and become a teacher].”

As a teacher of two history courses, history is obviously a very important subject to her, and in her opinion, one of the most essential classes for a democracy. History shapes not just the past, but the future. Irreparable damage from mistakes hundreds of years ago can be prevented from ever occurring again, as long as the conditions for this to happen are known.

“The Founding Fathers worried and warned us if we didn’t know our history, and if we didn’t know how to act as civically engaged citizens,” Jenkins began. “In order to have a good democracy, you have to have an educated citizenry.”

But it is not only the past of the United States that intrigues her, but also those of her students.

“It helps [me teach] if I know what’s the context of who that person is and what’s their history.” 

She lends an ear to any students that need to be heard. Despite the pressure and responsibility that is correlated with that, she cherishes being there for them. Jenkins values giving a safe space in her classroom, even if it is one of the only places they can express themselves.

“Sometimes you’re the only person,” she observed. “They don’t always have that wonderful family environment, or they’re struggling.”

This student-teacher bond is all about mutual respect. Demanding authority simply does not work for her morally nor yields the results she wants.

“Because I think your students have to respect you for being a teacher, but if they respect you as a person, they’re going to go an extra mile for you,” Jessica Jenkins disclosed. 

Audrey Maybin, junior, pointed out this characteristic, “She’s somebody you can rely on. I like her fluidity and how open she is.”

Jenkins revealed that she realized how profound an effect a teacher can have on a student. Being a teacher, her words touch hundreds of hearts per year every day. She is essentially raising these teenagers to “hopefully better the world.” 

Jeremiah Goodwin, junior, agrees, “I think her goal as a teacher is to help us grow as individuals.” 

Similarly, Aubrey Maybin, junior, says, “I think her goal is to help everybody have a better understanding of what they’re doing and how they’re going to face the future.”

Both Goodwin and Maybin note her kind and sarcastic nature, stating that she allows the teaching environment to be light and fun, while also remaining serious when it needs to be. They evidently have a strong, healthy relationship with Jenkins.

These bonds do not just remain for the remainder of high school, however. This connection is steadfast and can extend for years, retaining its personal touch.

The history teacher proves this when she mentioned, “This summer, I went to visit [a student] in DC. She’s twenty-five now, and we went out to dinner and to the Museum of African American History together.”

Jessica Jenkins has clearly moved heaven and earth for her students and will continue to selflessly do so. She hopes that her effort will shine through and her students will prevail.

“[I want to] have my students say that ‘I’m better off because I took a class with Mrs. Jenkins.’”

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  • M

    Mrs. JenkinsDec 8, 2023 at 8:57 AM

    Tori, I am humbled by your amazing article. Thank you for the spotlight and your talent and dedication is without doubt!

    Reply