We continue to highlight the important impact Dohn teachers and staff have on our community. Below is the full transcript of our sit-down with English teacher Jared Oubre.
How do you feel about getting this recognition?
You know, I feel proud. I know there’s a ton of people doing great work at every facility so it’s hard to know. It’s hard to know what I’m measured up against but I’m proud to be seen for my effort.
What do you like best about teaching?
It’s the ability to create in the classroom.The organic process of having a dialogue with students and then the dialogue I’m learning as a person and I also get to teach and share what I know with them – hopefully they learn something.
How do you feel about Dohn compared to other places that you have taught?
I think it’s kind of like the population of students that come to Dohn – they have a unique story and often it’s a really gritty story and I think there’s some power to that story. The students are, like, brutally honest and I think that helps me as an adult. I think I gravitate towards Dohn because of that honesty. Like what is society? What is the new society? It’s when you brutally share what do you feel about it as these students do… I think it helps define where we’re headed as a society. And I am interested in that.
What has your background prepared you for Dohn?
I’d say one maybe was the Peace Corps. I served abroad for about three years in a really impoverished village in the Caribbean. I felt like some days I was in the trenches. Do we have water? Do we have the lights on today? Are we going to have our youth group meeting? And let’s go from there. How are we going to put more fruit trees in our village? Because that’s what we need in 10 years. So that kind of training and living on the front line you could call it whatever, poverty? I felt like, “OK I could try out Dohn”.
It is gritty here. It has a façade that’s really welcoming and then when you get into it you’ve got to be ready for it because it brings you in but then you’re not prepared there’s a lot of character to it and deep character.
How do you feel about the impact that you have on students?
I do feel like I’m making a difference even if it’s a difference for myself. I feel as a young man of color I’m working with some students that are thirsty to see a young man of color in their life, who cares about himself and wants to present himself with dignity to society. And hopefully with that reflection, you know, I feel like I have to uphold that for myself and for them. I can’t teach unless I’m a model of what I most want to be and that’s a productive citizen. Right? And as a man of color in our society it is harder to be seen as that from the outset, unfortunately.