Student with a Story to Write
September 2, 2010 - Union University students not only come to learn but also bring varied knowledge and experience to the Germantown campus. Jeannine Jones is a student who is currently enrolled in the Master’s program so that she can become a library media specialist. However, being a published author who owns her own publishing company, Speak To Me Books, she brings numerous experiences to the university classroom.
Jeannine Jones started her career as a writer by first doing poetry readings and spoken word performances in Chicago, Illinois. Her first performance was at an establishment in Chicago called Rituals. She read a poem she had written entitled “Motherhood," which was about her experience of being pregnant with her first son. From that first performance, she never looked back. She did many other readings and open mic nights there in Chicago and later in Memphis. In moving within the poetry circuit, she has had the opportunity to meet other notable poets, such as Queen Sheba, Talaam Acey, and Samantha Thornhill Raheem. However, constantly arranging events and performing became tiresome. Therefore, she searched for another option by which she could share her knowledge and love of poetry.
After the birth of her first child, Ms. Jones became a substitute teacher in Chicago. This was the beginning of her career in education. Because she was a biology major in college, she began teaching science to high school students after she received her teacher's license and degree in education. However, Ms. Jones decided to go back to college again to become a reading specialist.
In 1999, she applied to the Memphis City Schools Board of Education and received a position in which she taught children with special needs. Later, her principal gave her responsibility of a reading program, which allowed her to infuse some of her poetry background into the curriculum she taught. Ms. Jones loves to teach reading because she enjoys finding ways to incorporate poetry and other literary nuances into every aspect of the classroom. Her writings, which have been used in some of her lessons, contain different themes that she wants her student audience to notice and understand. The theme of her premiere book, We Can All Decorate the Same Tree, is the importance of unity and working together. Currently, Ms. Jones is looking to write more books and is working to have her work performed on the stage.
~Jeannine Jones was interview by Abasi McKinzie