Jacqueline Yahn is from the Ohio Valley, part of the greater Appalachian region. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from West Liberty State College and a master’s degree from Ohio State University. She currently teaches seventh-grade language arts in Central Ohio and is a doctoral student at Ohio University where she is pursuing a degree in educational administration with a focus on rural and Appalachian education.

Articles by Jacqueline

Dispelling Myths of Appalachia

The whine of the projector subsides. Someone clicks on the lights. As the professor asks for commentary, the rapid raising of hands signifies an eagerness to respond. I remain still. Listening to my peer’s criticism of the Appalachian people featured in the made-for-TV special, I am humiliated.

Addressing Poverty Bias in the Classroom

My nana is laughing as she tells me one of her favorite childhood stories. As her cheeks lift into a smile, I can see the teenager who boldly told her teacher that threats to visit Nana’s parents about her behavior are ineffective. “You see,” she said, “they don’t speak any English.”

Students Write for Audiences Close to Home

Hands jut into the crisp autumn air, restricting my field of vision to a sea of shirtsleeves. While this is not an odd phenomenon after a new writing assignment, the types of questions are. “When will we mail it?” and “Can I make this longer than three paragraphs?” replace heavy sighs of “When is this due, again?”

Listening Helped Give Voice to the Silent

My curls tickle my face. My fingers feverishly sort though papers. I make last-minute decisions for the day. A former student, who stops by every day, chats by my side. It’s 7:30 a.m., and I’m depending on Folgers to usher me into a coherent state when I hear this student say, “Mrs. Yahn, ever since your class last year, I just can’t stop talking. I used to say nothing in class, but now I talk all the time. You taught me that.”

Appreciate the Diversity in Rural Places

I felt myself straighten in my chair. I quickly shook off the tiredness of a long day of teaching when our professor explained most of us found it difficult to understand multicultural education “because our viewpoint was that of the white, upper middle class.”