Ebony Gregory

ebony gregory

Ebony Gregory

I still remember her name: Mrs. Riccutti. My kindergarten teacher who once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without hesitation I blurted out "I'm going to be a teacher!" And I meant that. Maybe it's because Mrs. Riccutti was the only "professional" person I'd ever met at the time in my life. She had a cool name pronounced "rih-chew-tee" wore high heels every day and gave me lots of hugs. She made me feel loved. That's all I needed to convince me that I wanted to be just like her. Flash forward thirty-something years and I am my own version of "Mrs. Riccutti." I'm nearly a decade into my second career as a middle school teacher. Impacting the lives of the most vulnerable kiddos at Jennings Middle School one of Tampa's toughest middle schools. Most of our population are impoverished transient minority students. In fact that WAS me at their age! Each day I strive to help peel away their tough exteriors and show them their greatness! I long to be that one consistent thing my students have in their life amid all the uncertainty of their home life where some have family members who are serving time in prison on drugs or just...absent. I'm there. Every day. In room 336. My 7th graders can count on seeing Mrs. G (as they call me) and my silly grin corny jokes engaging academic instruction and encouraging words. Every day. Because I want them to remember my name and the way I make them feel. The same way I fondly remember my first teacher.

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