English has always been a passion of 2019 LEF Teacher Awards Finalist Debbie Reed’s.
But she says she didn’t always plan to teach the subject.
“My dad thought being an English major was impractical,” says Reed. “So he encouraged me to add on a teaching certification which required me to student teach.”
After one week in an eighth-grade English classroom, Reed says she never thought again of her original law school plans.
“It was just being in the classroom with students. I knew I had found my place.”
Now at Southside High School, Reed wants her students to understand the value in English beyond the classroom setting.
“I like teaching them the power of language and the power of communication,” says Reed.
She hopes to make her students into critical readers. Teaching them to use their voices to make positive differences in their personal lives, communities, and world.
“These kids are juniors. They’re going to be voting in the next election. They’re going to be adults going out into the world,” says Reed. “I want them to know how to speak up for themselves and how to be advocates. Language is the way to do that.”