Pratt Memorial UMC member pens book about teaching experiences


As a 30-year veteran of public school teaching, Yolanda Martin has seen and learned a lot. Yet, she “felt the call of God to do more.”

She began to write about her own experiences and the lessons she learned in the course of her rewarding but sometimes difficult career. The result is Teaching in the Potter’s Hands, a book designed to share with other teachers her own pitfalls and successes in the classroom. It touches on all aspect of teaching, from classroom control to how one chooses to dress on the job.

“When God draws us into teaching, he does so by appealing to our natural abilities, visions and desires, and they all vary just as the natural abilities, vision and desires of our students vary,” said Martin, a member of Pratt Memorial United Methodist Church in Jackson. “I remember a principal who said, ‘All teachers may not touch every child, but every child in this building should be touched by at least one teacher.’ This is possible because of our diversity and the diversity in our students. Teaching provides an outlet for all kinds of gifts, talents and powers.

“(The motivation for this book) is out of love for the profession, the students, and for my fellow teachers both experienced and new; realizing that being in the classroom is not always easy,” Martin said.

Martin has received numerous awards as a teacher, including The Good Apple Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, Beyond the Call of Duty Award, and Star Teacher.

The book has been published by Inkwater Press.