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Finding Her Passion

Mileyda Casasola, Writer

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One word that would describe Jordan Gentles is patient. “That’s the best word because I am a very patient person, I have the patience for people, stuff I have to do at home like chores and other things,” said Jordan. She is a clay teacher at Dundalk High School but has taught three years in elementary and one in middle school. This is her second year at DHS.

Jordan attended Carver High school and for the most part, she liked her high school experience. “I made a lot of good friends, a lot of those people we’re still friends now. I went to Carver so it was nice being in an art school where people have the same interests,” said Jordan. Looking back, she regrets not taking more advantage of the resources that were available to her as a teenager.

College, for her, was like a roller coaster – at the beginning, its all fun and then the excitement goes away. Having no clue of what major to work towards she tried English and nursing for a while, but it never worked out for her. Jordan’s talent of drawing and being creative proved that Art had to be part of her lifestyle. Finally, after five years of hard work she graduates from Towson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts Education.

Throughout her years in school, she had a lot of great teachers and to this very day they are still connected. There weren’t any art teachers of color in Jordan’s schools and, knowing that, she wanted to make a change but wasn’t very sure of her capability to reach that goal.

“I wish I would have had somebody who kind of looked like me, then it would have kind of clicked like I could do that because not everyone thinks that way. They start to think that way when they see people who look like them in those positions,””

— Jordan Gentles

said Jordan. Letting people know that everyone can achieve their goals as long as you set yourself for it.

Jordan decided to become an Art teacher partly because of her interest in kids. The best part about her job is the students. “You guys make it fun! I think you guys don’t get to see that we have to do all the “not so fun” paperwork and other stuff that has nothing to do about teaching,” said Jordan. Although she has her Bachelor’s she is also working towards her Masters.

In Jordan’s experiences she has learned to keep an open mind, “I think that when I started teaching, in general, I made a lot of assumptions like how I thought things were going to go how I thought kids were going to be, I learned very quickly that when you make assumptions it usually doesn’t work out. You should just walk into it, it can be anything. It’s going to be a learning experience and then the next year will be another experience because things are always changing,” said Jordan.

The best advice she could have given herself at age sixteen would have been to take it slow and don’t get stressed about decision making, “Who you know and how hard you work – that’s how you’re successful,” said Jordan. “To really think through what your next step is going to be or where it’s going to lead you.”

 

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