Jody Jones, English Language Arts Teacher & Literary Magazine Club Advisor at Aloha High School in Aloha, Oregon
Nominated by Ashleigh Croft, Jarrad Ashman & Alyssa DeLoyola (students)
"She is the BEST. She is always passionate about what she loves, and fights for it. She is the reason we have a functioning Literary Magazine and a Creative Writing Class."-Ashleigh Croft
"Ms. Jones is a teacher who connects and cares for her students. Her passion for literature is infectious and she will always listen to her kids and be there for the ones who don’t have anybody to be there for them. She pushes everybody to do their best and beyond, and won’t accept failure from anybody. She deserves Educator of the Decade."-Jarrad Ashman
"Ms. Jones works so hard on everything she does. She put her heart into making a creative writing class, because she is so passionate about it. She cares about each and every one of her students and always tries to make everyone feel as if someone is there for them. She lights up everyone's day and always has a huge smile on her face. Her students love her. Ms. Jones has always made her classroom a safe space for me, and other students. She always greets you with a smile and has genuine conversations with each student she meets. She is very passionate about her work and tries harder than any teacher I’ve ever met." -Alyssa DeLoyola
Congrats, Jody, from all of us at K103! Get to know Jody Jones:
What inspired you to become an educator?
I was what is referred to as an “invisible student” when I was in junior high and high school. That means that I flew under the radar – except for one teacher who asked me to stay after class one day. I was so nervous! But he pulled me aside and asked me about the books I had read. He then gave me a list of book recommendations. I immediately went to the school library and checked out every book and read each and every one of them. His noticing me, lead to me reading more challenging books. He also contributed to me become a lifelong reader and a bibliophile. I went into teaching in hope that I could inspire others as well.
What do you like most about teaching?
The students. They are so wonderful! I love hearing their thoughts and seeing them evolve through the years (or even just the semester). Some stereotypes out about today’s teenagers are pretty negative. I can honestly say that my students are inspiring. They are good human beings.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
When I first started teaching there was an emphasis on the five-paragraph essay and on teaching with a textbook. Today we are emphasizing real-world writing and have classroom libraries full of high-interest books. It’s pretty great.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
Every teacher I know sincerely cares. I can’t emphasize that enough. When we sit together and talk, it’s about how we can help our students. When we talk about our struggles, it’s because we feel overwhelmed that we can’t do more. I love working with parents and always feel that I can better support a student when I am working with the parents/guardians.
Share a story about your favorite teacher/educator.
As I mentioned previously, I was an invisible student. I always equated that to not being smart. When I was in college, I had a professor who took the time to hear and read my thoughts. At the end of a class with her, she pulled me aside and invited me to her class the next semester. Of course, I signed up for the class. When I walked into it, I learned that it was a graduate level course (I was an undergraduate). When she introduced me to the other students, she described me as “she doesn’t always share her thoughts, but when she does, you should listen. She has a lot of insights.” This changed me in education. I started finding my voice and sharing it as often as I could. This professor empowered me and set me on a path to explore my strengths in academia and to not see failures as something negative but instead as an opportunity to learn.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
I am the advisor of the school’s literary magazine. We started as a group of two students and one teacher talking about how we could make a literary magazine at the school. We are now a nationally award-winning literary magazine. It is a student-run club, and I loved seeing them set go