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Jessie Gladden

Jessie Benjamin Gladden was born on December 11, 1930 in New York City. Her mother was a domestic and later a business owner and her father was a laborer. During her adolescent years, Gladden’s mother moved the family back to her native North Carolina where she operated a restaurant and a store. In 1948, Gladden earned her high school diploma from North Hampton County Training School in North Carolina. In 1953, she earned her bachelor’s of science degree in social science and English.

Gladden began her teaching career in 1956 at Charles Hamilton Houston elementary school in Baltimore, where she taught for the next five years. After taking time off to raise her family, Gladden returned to the classroom in 1969, teaching at Pimlico Middle School until 1971. From 1973 until 1974, Gladden traded in her chalk and eraser for a camera and studio audience when she taught for the show Newslab that aired on Maryland Public Television. In 1973, she earned her master’s degree in American history from Morgan State University.

Gladden’s master’s thesis highlighted the medical accomplishments of Morgan State University medical scientist, Vivien Thomas. Thomas, with only a high school education, developed many surgical techniques and instruments used in treating and identifying diseases. Gladden’s thesis was titled, Vivien Thomas: Black Non-Doctor. From 1977 until 1997, she worked as a supervisor for Baltimore City Schools social studies curriculum. She retired from the Baltimore City School system in 1992. The following year, she took a position as a teacher supervisor at Johns Hopkins University until her retirement in 2001.

Gladden was married to Elzee Gladden, a Baltimore City educator who served as principal of Baltimore’s Dunbar High School and was the first person to receive a doctorate degree from Morgan State University.

Gladden passed away on August 18, 2016.

Accession Number

A2004.146

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/25/2004

Last Name

Gladden

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

North Hampton County Training School

P.S. 68

Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts

First Name

Jessie

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

GLA01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Absolutely.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/11/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

8/18/2016

Short Description

Social studies curriculum supervisor Jessie Gladden (1930 - 2016 ) has taught in Baltimore City Public Schools, taught for the show Newslab that aired on Maryland Public Television and is the former supervisor for Baltimore City Schools social studies curriculum. She later became a teacher supervisor at Johns Hopkins University until her retirement in 2001.

Employment

Charles Hamilton Houston Elementary School

Pimlico Middle School

Maryland Public Television

Baltimore City Public School System

Johns Hopkins University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jessie Gladden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jessie Gladden lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jessie Gladden talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jessie Gladden reflects upon her mother's decision to move her family to Jackson, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jessie Gladden describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jessie Gladden talks about her stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jessie Gladden recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jessie Gladden remembers her grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jessie Gladden talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jessie Gladden talks about growing up in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jessie Gladden recalls the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in New York, New York and Jackson, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jessie Gladden recalls her elementary school years and her childhood hopes of becoming a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jessie Gladden recalls her elementary school friends and her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jessie Gladden talks about the church she attended as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jessie Gladden lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jessie Gladden recalls her move to Jackson, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jessie Gladden recalls her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jessie Gladden recalls her decision to attend North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jessie Gladden describes her experience at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jessie Gladden talks about her career path immediately after she graduated from North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jessie Gladden recalls how she met her husband while teaching in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jessie Gladden explains how she was assigned to teach at Pimlico Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jessie Gladden recalls her experience teaching at Pimlico Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jessie Gladden remembers how she was hired as an on-air teacher for 'Newslab'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jessie Gladden recalls earning her master's degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jessie Gladden talks about writing her master's thesis on Vivien Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jessie Gladden talks about writing to medical scientists about Vivien Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jessie Gladden recalls interviewing Vivien Thomas and encouraging him to write a book about himself

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jessie Gladden recalls attempting to film a television program on Vivien Thomas without permission from John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jessie Gladden talks about her work for the Baltimore City Public Schools as an educational administrator

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jessie Gladden reflects upon changes in the state's curriculum and educational goals over the course of her career

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jessie Gladden remembers her husband, Dr. Elzee Gladden

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jessie Gladden talks about a scholarship established in her husband's name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jessie Gladden reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jessie Gladden describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jessie Gladden reflects upon her gift for teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jessie Gladden considers her future hopes and completed goals

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jessie Gladden reflects upon her proudest accomplishments

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jessie Gladden offers advice to future educators

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jessie Gladden describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jessie Gladden reflects upon her marriage and offers advice to others on marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jessie Gladden narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
Jessie Gladden explains how she was assigned to teach at Pimlico Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland
Jessie Gladden reflects upon changes in the state's curriculum and educational goals over the course of her career
Transcript
But at the time that--when I first started [teaching at Charles Hamilton Houston Junior High School, Baltimore, Maryland] I had some of the best students in the city really. One of my students is a judge in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. Because kids' parents were not too eager to send their children--be the first to send their children to these schools that had just integrated 'cause Baltimore had so many problems, you know, with integration. But shortly after that of course when schools--when they schools were smoothly integrated your top students started going to these city-wide schools.$$And some of the top teachers in black schools too.$$Absolutely, absolutely. Because it was around that time--and I got pregnant I took a leave of absence and when I wanted to come back I asked to go to Douglas which was a black school. And my supervisor who was black said no, we're gonna send you to Pimlico [Middle School, later Pimlico Elementary/Middle School], which was an all-White school. I said, I don't really wanna go there, she said yeah, but we need to send our best--we need the top student--the top teachers to go there. We need our strong; that's what she use to term. We need our effective teachers we need our strong teachers who can go there, and you can go and I did. I went to Pimlico.$$What year did you go to Pimlico?$$I came--I stayed home five years so it must have been '60 [1960], maybe '69 [1969].$$And what was that experience like?$$Wonder--it was good. I, I there, I went to a school, Pimlico Middle School is in a Jewish area, and I was the black teacher in the social studies department. Because they had one, they--one would come at a time. They had one, but she was being moved to another position. And they--I followed her. That was a great experience because first of all I hadn't at, at my old, old Douglas that's where the Houston Woods was. That school I had to buy paper I had to buy things that I needed 'cause we never had enough resources. But Pimlico, I had everything, everything I needed. The school was bursting in the seams because the parents were not going to let their kids go to the--to another middle school.$$To integrating.$$That's right, (laughter) you got that right. And so, that, that they were--the classes were larger and crowded, but the experience was excellent. And I always sought to be innovative in teaching. I, I had some of the very brightest kids in the city. And I had them, I had them to go to [Johns] Hopkins [University, Baltimore, Maryland] and had, I asked the--someone out there that I knew if I could bring my little ninth grade class to Hopkins. And they got a--and it one of the students to teach them. I wanted them to have that experience, and Hopkins had a computer telescope or something of that nature that would enrich what we were doing and we went there. There were twelve Doctor's at Hopkins I have to give them credit. They wanted the people to stay at Pimlico. They wanted people to continue to send their kids there. And I had most of those kids in my class. But the people moved, the neighborhood changed, and they moved.$What were some of the changes you noticed during your twenty-year tenure developing curriculum? What did the curriculum have to change according to the time?$$Absolutely, one of the things Dr. Samuel L. Banks was the person that was responsible for, for making our curriculum and social studies more diverse. He headed a committee to restructure it because if--you were too young but when I came through school, you didn't see any black faces. You--very little information about blacks other than maybe Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. But Dr. Banks was head of the committee that changed the curriculum in Baltimore city to be more inclusive. And I, of course, when I came on, and we did that and we--I represented him at the State. And we wrote the multicultural guidelines for the State of Maryland I was on that but that was the change.$$What was the changes you were noticing you seen in terms of students and curriculum what were some of the bigger changes you were noticing?$$Well, the thing that I--in terms now instruction let's, let's just break it down. I'll break it down.$$Sure.$$The curriculum (simultaneous).$$Sure.$$The curriculum that I just mentioned we became more diverse.$$Uh-hum.$$We now didn't just talk about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but we talked about Blacks and women who made a contribution in the curriculum. And we didn't stop at the World, Second World War we, we continued. In instruction some of the changes I--we did more individualized instruction. We did more team teaching we utilize much of the research from the universities. We had partnerships, we had workshops with the people in counties in the counties cross country, you know, that kind of thing. We stressed thinking skills rather than learning a bunch of facts for the facts sakes. We wanted youngsters to think about what they're (simultaneous).$$Moving away from rote--?$$That's right exactly, we wanted, we stressed communications skills, we stressed writing skills. Because America, you know, believe it or not, we listen to what you say and how you say it. So those were some of the things that we stressed. And, and instruction and we did individualize instruction. We did group instructions 'cause children--we did learning styles. Some children, learn one way some learn another. Some children, learn best by themselves some learn better in groups. So we wanted children to live, learn and become lifelong learners because they had to learn to solve problems, we did decision-making. We wanted them to learn how to, you know, we asked open-ended questions like for example if I were to say to you how important is it to you what other people think of you? You gotta think about that, you know, or if I said to you what does respect look like, and I got that from my mother. What does it what does respect look like to you, what does it this sound like and some kids can't answer questions like that if they don't see it in the book. The answer has to be in the book. But there--you have to utilize your own resources and the type of teaching that we did. We want our teachers to be creative, and I enjoy it, I still do. I volunteer now one day a week.