Good Evening TXK
Nine years ago, a very wild, rambunctious 16-year-old me was sitting in Mrs. Jenny Walker’s communications classroom at Texas High School. I was rather obnoxious, dividing my classmates up between ‘royals’ and ‘peasants’ and making plans for how I would go about securing my own MTV reality show, entitled King Bailey of course, because what else would I title it? Through my loudest and lowest days, when I thought I was running the classroom, I can still firmly recall every hallway conversation with Mrs. Walker. Nine times out of ten, I had just been sent out of class by her for doing something dumb, yet she never treated me like I was dumb. She just wanted to gently remind me, “Bailey, you can’t call your classmates peasants.”
Since we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week in May, I wanted to give a really big THANK YOU to Jenny Walker. She deserves it not just for how she treated (and continues to treat) me, but because of how she treated all her students. I hope we all can look back at our experience growing up in the public school system and remember at least one or maybe even two teachers who saw something in us that we did not see in ourselves. It takes a very special human being to see beauty where things appear on the surface to be ugly, wholeness where there appears to be cracks, and abundance where there seems to be a lack. I can name on one hand the number of special people in my life who have done this for me, and Jenny Walker is included in that count.
Throughout my school years, I had the unique privilege of having a great mother, a supportive family, loving friends, and a social, outgoing personality (which I am sure was a challenge for many of my teachers). Other students around me did not grow up afforded the same advantages. Mrs. Walker did not have to say a word because it was evident from her actions alone, even to 16-year-old Bailey, that her unwaveringly kind, beautiful heart for me and the kids who were not as lucky as I, was at the forefront of every move she made as an educator. I watched her bleed compassion, patience, and understanding for those she knew needed to hear they were so much more than their current circumstances.
To this day, Mrs. Walker still talks to those students, the ones she poured her heart into in high school. I want to think she is fully aware of her profound impact on some of her kids, as that would make the ups and downs of her profession, which isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, worth it for her. All I can hope to do in this life as well is to make an impact on people for the better.
I had Mrs. Walker as a teacher the year I started my first job at Starbucks. She taught us all about the art of job interviews and introduced me to a little phrase known as “fake it ’til you make it,” a statement that I have carried with me since 2014, the first time I heard it in her classroom. I did not realize how often I would apply this phrase, meant for my professional life, to my personal life. Most of us see the highlights on social media, everyone’s best moments, not understanding that almost everyone is just faking it! The person with 200 million followers on Instagram feels just as lost as you do, just faking it, taking things day by day. We are all the same, no better than anyone else. Remember, as Mrs. Walker would say, “Bailey, you can’t call your classmates peasants.” Nine years later, I have never utilized a teacher’s wisdom as much as I have Jenny Walker’s. I am forever grateful to her.
Although she no longer teaches in a high school, Jenny still serves as an educator. As Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties, she leads a team of faculty, staff, and volunteers who help men and women meet academic and workforce goals to better provide for themselves and their families, and I know her impact will continue to be life changing for everyone she touches. So, from me and so many others, thank you Mrs. Walker… Sincerely, King Bailey.
May 5-7, May 12-14
Every Saturday of May
Texarkana Farmers Market
Downtown Texarkana, 7 am-12 pm
Community Unity Day for students 9-12 am
Four States Fairgrounds, 11 am-3 pm
Friends of 1st Choice PRC Walk 4 Life
Spring Lake Park, 7:30 am
Twice as Fine Texarkana Wine Festival
Spring Lake Park, 11 am-7 pm
Tee Up for Temple
Texarkana Country Club, 11 am
Get Into Gardening
Texas A&M-Texarkana University Center
Inspired! Texarkana Chamber of Commerce Women’s Conference
Texas High Performing Arts Center, 8:30 am-12 pm
Downtown Texarkana, 5-9 pm
Dragon Boat Race Festival
Bringle Lake East, 9 am-5 pm
Infant Safety and CPR Training
Pathway Resource Center, 6:30-7:30 pm
#BeLikeCJ Walk of Love
Downtown Front Street, 7:30 am
Tough Kookie Cancer Support Group Meeting
Oak Street Baptist Church, 4 pm
Memorial Day Service
Hillcrest Memorial Park, 2 pm
Every Tuesday Night
Karaoke at Whiskey River, 8 pm
Blues, Booze, and BBQ
67 Landing, 2 pm
Dusty Rose Band
The Dapper, 8:30 pm