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My First Grade Teacher

Pictured is Mrs. Emma R standing next to her granddaughter Niambi proclaiming their support for President Obama in 2012. Emma is accustomed to being first: first in her high school graduating class, first in her college graduating class, first black female promoted as an Elementary School principal in an integrated school system in Mobile, Alabama. Mrs. Reed just published her first book “The Other Woman is AD, a Behavior Log on an Alzheimer's Patient, My Husband.” Mrs. Emma Reed is well known and well respected throughout the community in Mobile, Alabama.

Mrs. Emma R

Her promotion to Elementary School Principal came with great challenges. The demography of students included both poor white and black students. Mrs. Reed shared her approach in resolving problems. She received resistance from both white and black of educators of the time. White teachers and black teachers sat in separate parts of the break room, and this same division occurred during staff meetings.

Mrs. Emma relied on skills of her profession to insure students received the best education possible by insisting staff meetings be conducted by each group of teachers sitting together according to grade levels, e.g. all first grade teachers together. This met with enormous success since teachers at each grade level realized they had more things in common than they ever imagined.

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