During quarantine English II teacher Kristina Abshire moved away from Kerr, leaving her in-person position available for a new teacher.
Nakeithia Alexander will be teaching regular English and pre AP English.
Over the past 14 years, Alexander has been working at ALC (Alief Learning Center).
“Since Miss Abshire was not able to come in for a face to face teaching, they asked me to leave ALC and come over to Kerr to cover for her classes,” Alexander said.
She said Kerr has a reputation as an elite school in Alief.
“I was at ALC with kids who were reluctant learners. So Kerr is considered the opposite of that for kids, which motivated learners’ internal motivation.”
Changing schools can be an overwhelming experience for both students and teachers.
“So in all honesty, it was a little bit intimidating coming over here,” Alexander said. “I am pleasantly surprised the kids are well behaved. And you guys are very hard-working over here. It’s not to say that the kids at ALC don’t work hard. It’s just that they need a lot more incentive and a lot more motivation to work hard.”
Other than the students, Kerr and ALC have different teaching methods.
“One of the things is I don’t think I’m getting a real feel for Kerr because the students aren’t here. So it’s like, I’m here, but all the students aren’t here. So I don’t have a real grasp of what day-to-day learning looks like on your campus when all the kids are here,” Alexander said. “The teaching methods are different because, at ALC, it’s like a regular campus, I sit in front of this class, I give lectures, we’re interactive, I get feedback from the students. Whereas you guys are given independent work upfront, and then you’re given seminars, maybe a couple of times a week, it’s my understanding at this point.”
Kerr students’ independent learning is the main difference between Kerr and other highschools.
“My experience at Kerr has been good, everybody is really nice on this campus,” Alexander said. “I’ll be honest, I do kind of miss the student interaction because you guys don’t say much either on Zoom or in person, y’all don’t really talk a lot.”
So far Alexander has a good experience at Kerr despite most of the students not being there to greet her in-person.
“Everybody has been really sweet and really supportive,” she said. “Over here, actually, I’ll be honest, I’m gonna miss it when I leave. Like your administration is super awesome. I was like, it’s not to put my own administration down, but it’s just different. Like, I see your administration like every day. And I did not see my principal and AP every day. It’s not like a negative thing. When they come through, they say hi, they ask how you’re doing. And if I need something, they’re very quick to help me with that. So I’m actually kind of impressed by them.”
The staff and students have helped her adapt to her new surroundings.
“I even told some of the kids on Zoom that I was a little bit intimidated,” she said. “And they’re like, Oh, don’t worry about it. And some kid even came back, and was like, ‘Oh, you’re a good teacher and everything.’ So even though I’m not talking to them, they’ll put that in the chat. So that’s nice to know. So everybody is really sweet over here, I’m actually gonna miss it.”