The Dart: Natchez teacher sharing her love of literature

Published 12:01 am Monday, January 12, 2015

Sarah Taylor reads “Native Son” by Richard Wright at her home. Taylor teaches English to ninth and 10th-grade  students at the Natchez Early College Academy, which is a part of Natchez High School’s campus. She will be starting the book with them later in the semester. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Sarah Taylor reads “Native Son” by Richard Wright at her home. Taylor teaches English to ninth and 10th-grade students at the Natchez Early College Academy, which is a part of Natchez High School’s campus. She will be starting the book with them later in the semester. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZSarah Taylor is one of the few people who can say she gets paid to do what she loves.

When The Dart landed on Linden Drive in Natchez Sunday, Taylor was reading Richard Wright’s “Native Son.”

Taylor is a lifelong lover of reading and tries to impart that love to her students. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Taylor is a lifelong lover of reading and tries to impart that love to her students. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Taylor teaches English to ninth- and 10th-grade students at the Natchez Early College Academy, which is a part of Natchez High School’s campus.

Taylor plans to read the book with her class later in the semester.

“I like to read books with them that they can make real connection to,” she said. “That is what helps to foster a love for reading.”

Taylor graduated in May 2012 from the University of Southern Mississippi with a master’s degree in English, and she began teaching in Natchez in August.

She has been a lifelong lover of reading.

“It sounds cliché, but I love the language and how (books) can take you to different places that you would never be able to go,” Taylor said.

Taylor hopes to pass that love onto her students.

“They are reading all of the time between Facebook and text messages,” she said. “I want them to see how reading other things can change their lives.”

Over the first semester that Taylor has taught, her students read several books including “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines.

Taylor’s favorite part of the job so far has been to see her students take what they are reading and apply it to their own experiences.

“It is great to see them go past comprehension and sentence structure and connect with the characters,” she said.

The Hattiesburg native is happy to be teaching in her home state because she wants to make it a better place.

“People like to point their fingers at all the things wrong with Mississippi,” she said. “I want to be a part of the change.

“I want to help our students be competitive not just in the Mississippi, but in the country.”