Students follow librarian to Egypt
Madison’s Layne Canada and Avery Warf got to follow Jackson Prep librarian Norma Cox across Egypt virtually in their seventh-grade class.
A seasoned traveler, Cox put a fun twist on learning, something more than just opening a textbook, and teamed up with geography teacher Les Triplett to bring her travels to life in the classroom.
Maps of Egypt and Jordan started to line the walls of Triplett’s geography class the week before she departed.
“Together with the students, we came up with questions pertaining to every city and place I would be visiting,” she said
“They were all divided up into groups of four and their assignment was to write their questions on a large piece of poster board and at the bottom write their name in Egyptian hieroglyphics. I took a picture of each group holding up their sign.”
Cox departed for Egypt on Aug. 25 and returned on Sep. 8. Each day she would post on her Instagram account, @where_in_the_world_is_mrs_cox, for students to see.
“Mr. Triplett would pull them up on his large screened TV and the students would watch me answer all of their questions they wrote on the poster boards,” Cox said.
“They also followed my route on the maps in their classroom. It was a fun twist on learning and a creative way to see things a little differently than looking at a country on a map. Everyone learns in such different ways now and children are very visual. This was a really good way for them to retain this information compared to reading information out of a textbook.”
Cox said the students’ enthusiasm was exciting to see, and thinking up experiences like this is a huge part of her job at Prep.
“As a librarian, I strive to bring creativity and a sense of possibilities to all of our students,” Cox said. “One thing I have always appreciated during my 13 years of being at Prep is how open the administration is to 'out of the box' ideas. All of us want the best for our students, and we want to widen their world and spark that place inside of them that is curious and interesting.”
Triplett said following Cox around Jordan and Egypt was a great experience for the students.
“We saw a first-hand view of important places in the world where most of the students have not been able to visit,” Triplett said. “Every day the students would come into the classroom and ask where she was today. Having the students connect with her on a daily basis was both fun and unique, and I am thankful for Mrs. Cox letting us tag along."
Baylor Berry, a seventh grader at Prep, said he loved following Cox while she was in Egypt.
“It was a very fun opportunity to learn lots about Egypt,” Berry said. “We learned all about the Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, temples, and lots more. It was an awesome experience and it would be so fun if we could do it again.”