Island believes students will find success if they can relate to the lesson

Published 5:05 pm Monday, February 3, 2020

This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors.


Just about every teacher will say that one of the toughest parts of their job is connecting the lessons they teach to the world that surrounds their students.

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For Warrenton Elementary fourth-grade teacher Jasmine Island, overcoming that struggle begins with one statement.

“I ensure my students are connected to the real world by making real-world connections when teaching. My favorite phrase is, ‘Okay, let me give you a real-world example,'” Island said. “If students can relate to what they’re learning, it becomes familiar to them which I feel makes it easier to apply it.”

Island is one of the teachers nominated for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year awards.

The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 25. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

Island is in her eighth year as a teacher, all of which has focused on teaching English language arts.

She received a bachelor’s degree in general studies at Alcorn State before receiving a master’s in elementary education, also from Alcorn. She also received an educational specialist degree from Alcorn State.

Island said one of the most moving moments in her teaching career came when she was able to help a struggling student.

“When it came to learning and understanding, she wanted it so bad and she had felt over the years that she wasn’t receiving the help she needed to be successful,” Island wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. “I understood so I told her that I would do everything in my power to make sure she was successful in my classroom.

“We worked in small groups three times a week. It was a struggle at times because we both felt like it wasn’t working but I understood the process and I knew I had to trust it,” she said.

In the end, Island wrote, the student became proficient on grade level.

“I am also one to doubt myself but this experience showed me to really trust the process,” she wrote.


About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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