What was Ms. Russell like in 8th grade?

Stewart people: Meet the folks in our school community


Avary L.

Ms. Russell keeps a picture of her middle-school self on her classroom wall so her students know she was a kid once too.

Avary L., Writer

Everyone knows Ms. Russell as the 8th grade ELA teacher and the 1st period PE teacher here at Stewart. But how was Ms. Russell when she was our age? When she was in 8th grade? What did she look like, act like, dress like? Well, you will find out if you keep reading.

This is about the best ELA teacher at Stewart, when she was young — her “post-emo phase,” as she called it.

Looking back, what do you think of it?  

It was definitely a period in my life where if I look at pictures I laugh and go ‘OMG what did my mom let me do?’ So yeah, I had the whole dark eyeliner all the time and bangs that covered my whole face. 

How did you dress then?  

Really ripped up jeans and flannels and shirts that were probably not inappropriate and either like boots or like hightops. 

Why did you have a post-emo phase?  

Well, the kind of music inspired that kind of look. Plus, the hobbies and interests I was into, it just kind of all rounds up into one. Plus, I think the hiding my face thing was me just being shy and I didn’t have to look at people, and people couldn’t see me.  

What do you think of emo kids now? 

I wonder how they will think about how they are looking right now in 10 years or 20 years. I also appreciate individuality, so I love that. I also just want everybody to stay warm, we’ll put it that way. 

When did it happen?  

Probably in middle school yeah ‘cause in 8th grade I had bright pink hair, so yeah. 

What do you think of your emo students? 

I try not to stereotype my students like based on their dress. I try really really hard to be patient and open, so students want to talk to me and then that’s how I try to see each of them as an individual and not label them.