Meet John Thames, a Mississippi Teacher and Coach

I met John Thames years ago, as my now-husband was coaching football with him at Oak Grove Middle School. From what I saw, he was very fun-loving, inspiring, and friendly both to his students and players, as well as others! Currently, he is teaching eighth-grade science at Sumrall Middle School, which is a position he has been in for the last five years.

To reach his goal of becoming a teacher, Thames received his bachelors from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003 and his Masters from William Carey University in 2008. His goal to become a teacher was inspired by his love for sports, as well as to coach and be around kids to make a difference in their lives. Thames said that his high school coach inspired him to follow in his footsteps to give back to the youth community.

When asked what he loved about teaching, Thames exclaimed, “I love the lifelong bonds that you make with students from a young age and being able to follow their lives and see them now as adults with their own kids. “However, one negative aspect of teaching according to John is how the government is not spending and appropriating money in places where the money can be used best. For example, Thames said that “way too much money goes to the top of the ladder instead of classrooms where it could help the most.”

In terms of what Thames has accomplished in teaching, he said, “My most prized accomplishment is seeing the students that I have taught giving back to society and becoming outstanding adults in our communities.”

When asked about challenges that he has experienced as a teacher, Thames reported “Parent involvement can be a big issue in both ways.  Some parents hover too much and you just want to tell them to let their kids be a kid and make their own mistakes so that he/she can learn from them but you know you cant. Other times you just wish that a kid had parents that cared enough to be there for them. ” In those cases where parents are not involved much, Thames said he tries to make as much contact with them as he can, while also doing his best to be there for the kids and mentoring them.

Thames had some good advice for those wanting to consider the education field. He suggested that they talk to teachers already in the field and be open with them about their intent and allow those teachers to be completely honest with them before making any decisions. He also suggested that they ask lots of questions!

And just for fun, at the end of the interview, Thames was asked what his spirit animal is and why. He stated, “I feel like it should be a sloth because this time of year we are all tired and moving slower than we were back at the first of the year.”


Written by Tamra Cater

I am married, and I also have a 4-year-old daughter. I earned my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and I have been teaching psychology classes over the past 10 years. As a professor and as a parent, I grew to love learning anything about child development. I recently turned that into a passion for helping other parents by starting my own blog at


Leave a Reply

What do you think?

Prep baseball: George County splits two games in the Battle at the Beach while Biloxi suffers its first loss

15-Year-Old Jimmy Chilimigras Sets Sights on Law School and Beyond