The Plaid Pages

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Meet Mrs. Jean (Christ) Walker, ’82


Q) When and why did you decide to become a teacher?
A) A part of me always knew. When I was younger and we played school, I was always the teacher. In college, my English professor, Dr. Rudolph, helped me realize teaching was what I needed to do.

Q) Did you know you wanted to teach at NDA when you were still a student?
A) Absolutely not! If you would have told my high school self that I would spend 28 additional years at NDA, I would have laughed myself silly.

Q) What was your first day like as a teacher?
A) I was a full time sub at NDA. While it was fun, it was a lot of work and prep time because it was in Speech and Drama, my minor, and not English.

Q) How is teaching different from how you imagined it to be?
A) Grading papers is not as fun as I thought it would be. Haha.

Q) Can you tell me about a time when teaching made you feel hopeful?
A) I had a transfer student who struggled her first year, and she blossomed her second year with me. Today, she is a young woman unafraid to follow her passion.

Q) How would you like your students to remember you?
A) Fair, fun, and tough!

Q) Are there any teachers who have had a particularly strong influence on your life? What have you learned from them?
A) Fellow NDA teachers, Trish (Beazley) Sanders ’71 has taught me the importance of laughter and Laurie Gallaher has taught me that high expectations are rewarding.

Q) Looking back, what advice would you give to yourself in your first year of teaching?
A) Feeling like you are barely keeping your head above water is normal.

Q) Did you enjoy school?
A) Loved it, especially my English classes, and any classes I had with my best friend, Jody Coakley ’82.

Q) What kind of student were you?
A) Elementary -strong, High school- average (I went through a rebellious stage!), College right after high school- mediocre, College after two years in the real world-Dean’s List/Driven

Q) Did you get into trouble?
A) Let’s just say I was mischievous.

Q) Are you still friends with anyone from high school?
A) Yes, my best friend, Jody Coakley ’82.

Q) What are your best memories of high school/college/graduate school?
A) Best memory or rather most significant memory … my trip to Stratford, the summer after my sophomore year. It cemented my love for Shakespeare and theater in general!