Jessica Jones, Second Grade Teacher

We’re introducing you to our TCS teachers! Click here to go to the TCS blog to see the other teachers we’ve profiled.

Today, we’re introducing you to Jessica Jones, second-grade teacher!

Jessica has taught for 19 years with 16 of those years right here at TCS! Before TCS, she taught first- and second-year Spanish at Auburn University and Clemson University.

What skills do you hope your students will learn by the time they leave your classroom? How are you preparing them to learn these skills?
I see my role as a guide to facilitate, encourage, and support children in developing resiliency and optimism. A school needs to be a place where kids feel safe in taking risks, failing, and trying again. I model cooperative work and play, effective communication, and the art of compromise. Students need to be explicitly taught how to work collaboratively with others and understand that it can lead to mutually satisfying accomplishments.

What about teaching makes you excited to come to school every day?
A very rewarding component of teaching is mentoring students in their social and emotional growth. As elementary teachers, we are in a unique position to cultivate compassion, respect, altruism, and empathy. I am a teacher because I want these children to grow up to be good citizens of their immediate communities and of the world. I want my students to always embrace play, physical activity, and engagement with the natural world as essential parts, not just of being a child, but of being human.

Tell us about one of the most rewarding moments in your teaching career.
Last year, a girl in my second-grade class made me a birthday card which read, “You are an amazing teacher. You help me learn. You are funny and important to me. You are brave, too.” That’s the same way I felt about her!

If you could meet any fictional or historical figure, who would it be?
I would like to have a conversation with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said:

“Our goal should be to live in radical amazement….to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

What is something none of your students know about you?
I love ballroom dancing, especially the silver foxtrot.