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Think Out Loud

On The Job: In Schools

Pete Springer/OPB

On Think Out Loud, we often end up talking to people about their jobs. It’s usually because what they do is somehow related to a news story — a new report that’s just been released or some other noteworthy happening. In this new series, On The Job, we’ll get in-depth with people about what they do simply because they have interesting stories and insights to share. 

We’re starting off with people who work in schools, as they contemplate what the new school year holds for them. Derry Jackson teaches math, social studies and science classes at an alternative high school in the David Douglas district. Many of the kids who come to North Powellhurst School have been expelled from other schools or been through the juvenile justice system. Jackson’s own kids are all grown up now. And he says one of his favorite things about his job is that he gets to be kind of like a dad for his students, many of whom do not have father figures in their lives. On the other hand, he says some of the hardest moments in his job are instances when he realizes he can’t actually be their dad.

Jackson and our guests will take time out of back-to-school meetings, lesson planning and sprucing up their classrooms to tell us what their jobs are like and how they’ve been affected by the work that they do.

What would you like to ask them? 


  • Derry Jackson: High school teacher at North Powellhurst School in the David Douglas school district
  • Daletta Gonzales: Substitute teacher and former teacher-librarian in the Salem-Keizer school district
  • Jill Zahm: School psychologist in the Evergreen school district
education high school jobs onthejob teacher teaching

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