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Jimmy Jones – Cook Elementary School

I would like to nominate my father and friend, Jimmy Jones as a KSL Teacher Feature teacher. To put it in his era vernacular (he taught his students this word), he is rad, cool, and even bad. When his students think of Mr. Jones, the Browning poem comes to mind. “How much do I love thee, let me count the ways.” (He shared this poem with them and they think it describes him, although he told them it describes how much he loves all of his students.) I have served as a classroom aid to my father for the past several years. His example as an educator is the reason I am becoming an elementary teacher also.

There are so many ways that Mr. Jones deserves this recognition, “let me count the ways”:

He greets his students every day at the door when they come to school. It is a surprise to see what he will do next. One day he will sing to them “Good Morning to You” like “Happy Birthday to You”, another time it will be something else. His fist bumps with his students both coming and going each day. It is one way of showing he cares about and for them. He will be teaching a lesson and will break out into some song that goes along with the lesson. He really is not a very good singer but he never lets that stop him. He just wants to put a smile on his students face and helps them to have a good day. He says he is trying to expose them (and me) to “his era” and have us appreciate good music not the noise there is now days. He is so funny when he does this. He plays his IPod during breaks and in the morning when students come to class. There is always fun music in the classroom. Students hate to turn if off when it is time to start class.

Most recently he taught his students to do “patty-cake math” while they were coming in the door of the classroom. This activity was used to practice times tables. Students had to pass a times table to get in the door. He was sure to select ones that he knew each student could get; there were hard ones for the kids who got math and easier for the ones who struggled. Everyone succeeded . When the parents came to school that day he even had their children “patty-cake math” with them. Nobody got away that day without at least one “patty-cake math” activity. It was his way of making student learning fun. He even does it for spelling and other topics.

Mr. Jones is his school’s “Ticket Meister” (German for master.) He goes around the school giving out blue tickets for catching people doing good things. When he catches a student being a good example he gives them a blue ticket so they can be put into a drawing for one of the students of the week from their class. He has to catch them before they catch him. Students in our school walk around the hallway with their arms folded hoping Mr. Jones catches them being good. It is fun watching a class see Mr. Jones come down the hallway and quickly fold their arms. His class has a meister for everything. They have a book meister, a board meister, a door meister, a class meister.

Each student has a job and look forward to being a meister.

He is a master at recognizing students. His students are not allowed to have candy in the classroom. But it is okay to have “fruits, nuts, and vegetables”. Sugar comes from either cane or beets – vegetable. Chocolate comes from a bean – vegetable, and so forth. It is amazing all of the ways he can make students want to do better. You should see his M&M collection. They brighten up the classroom. He has two that are as big as some of his students. “Isaac & Z” were named after students from his previous school. He uses them as a fun place to put student homework into.

Mr. Jones eats lunch with his students at least once each week. One week the boys sit near him and the next week the girls. He loves all of his students equally. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day he taught his students that these holidays are not about them. It is about what they can do for others. Each student made a Christmas card and Valentine card for someone at our school that does not have their own classroom. They made cards for the custodians, the cooks, the office staff, the librarian, the principal and everyone else they could think of.

He teaches his students foreign words all of the time. Verstean sie?, (do we understand); mach snell, (much fast), No hablea espanol; sprecken sie deutch; parley vous frances (I do not know how to spell them) but you get the picture. The last ones are his favorite if he does not want to answer a question. Every day when his students leave school, they leave with an “alf viedersen” or “hasta manyana”, even “choess”. Students love to hear him say “Vunderbar” (wonderful) especially when he is talk about them. It does not matter what the word is, they know he is sending his student’s home happy and making them want to come back again the next day.

Mr. Jones has his students writing every day. It is fun to see what he will have students write about when they get to school each day. Most recently he had them write about nursery rhymes. For example if his students were writing about Peter Pieper and why he pick a peck of pickle peppers, they would have to tell the story behind the story? He says it not as important what they write but that they write every day. His motto is “detail, detail, detail”. He wants his students to enjoy writing while at the same time learn how to express themselves in writing. That is why he loves to use big words and makes his students look them up in the dictionary. He is a “sesquipedalian”, someone who uses big words. His students want to be like him, especially in writing.

His favorite word is ‘consternation”. His students do not want to cause him great consternation. Also he talks to them about not “casting dispersions” on people’s character. When students do not know how to spell a word he only gives them the first couple of letters and makes them go find the word in the dictionary. If the students struggle finding the word he will always help them out after they have worked at it for a while. Mr. Jones never gets mad at his students, but they do not want to make him “perturbed.” He tells everyone that he is the meanest teacher in the school but his students know better. When they tell him he is not mean, he tells them to quit ruining his reputation. They can tell he is embarrassed when people compliment him.

In a recent assembly he let his students paint his face green and black and blue and yellow and to make his hair different colors; all this because they had met their reading goals. After each term when his students meet their AR goals he has a Banana Split party for everyone, not just those that make their goal. Everyone gets something, we start with a banana split picture to color and then depending on what goal they meet, decides how much of the banana split each person get; some may only get one scoop of ice cream, or topping, a banana, or more. Everyone tries harder so they can get the “whole enchilada” the next time (his words). He makes students want to do better.

When Mr. Jones takes his students to PE he starts the class out by doing push-ups. They have to do as many push-ups as he does. He never does so many that they cannot keep up with him. It is his way of showing them that he will do everything they do and more. When they come back from things he has them go the long way out round the soccer field goals. They do not have to run but most do. He gives blue tickets to those who go an extra time. Students may not have PE every day; however he makes sure students get to do something active every day.

When there is a need at his school Mr. Jones is always one of the first to step-up. One of his classmates recently had a brother pass away. Mr. Jones was one of the first to offer his condolences and to be there for the family. He went to the viewing and donated money to help the family. If students are selling Girl Scout cookies or participating in other fund raisers he always helps out, but not just with students in his class but with students in other classrooms also. When the PTA needs to raise money to help his school he is first in line to help. Recently the school was raising money for reading and he pledged to match the money his student raised and he came through. He even donates money to the district’s foundation. He says teaching is not about getting rich, it is about helping others to become rich learners and if he can help by giving money or his time then he will do everything he can.

Dad is a military veteran and he has taught our family and his students so much about the flag and being patriotic. He makes sure that when the pledge of allegiance is said everyone does it right and why it is right. He is the first one to come to attention and the last one to drop his hand. When the class sings the Star Spangled Banner each Monday his voice is the loudest. He may not be able to carry a tune, but he sure lets them know he is trying. He had some soldiers come into his class and talk about their experiences in the war. He then brought out some MREs so his students could try the food our soldiers eat. He brought his uniform to school so his class could understand what he did in the Army and why he loves the flag and his country so much.

Mr. Jones came to his current school from another school. One of the Cook ES teacher’s daughter used to teach with him at his old school. They were sad for him to leave. He was a great teacher with them also. All of the things he did for Cook ES, he did for them and more. One of his fellow teacher’s son was going on a mission and he offered to help them with his missionary costs and even bought the boy a new set of luggage because he knew the family did not have very much money. The grandmother of one of his students volunteers at the school helping the students come and go to school along with a whole lot of other stuff. She always came to school using a broom stick as a walking stick. Mr. Jones saw her stick and decided that a broom stick was not good enough for this kind lady and made her a walking stick at Scout Camp. She walks all over the neighborhood with her new walking stick and tells everyone that Mr. Jones gave it to her.

Dad is constantly learning and going to school himself. Every term he takes classes from Weber State University so he can become a better teacher. He is always taking classes from his school district and even looks for other opportunities to improve his knowledge. Most of his classes are on his own time when he could be home enjoying other things. When people ask him why he spends so much of his free time learning he tells them that everyone needs to be life-long learners and to never stop learning. He applies all over the place for professional development opportunities. He has been to New York City, Washington D.C, and Philadelphia for history classes. He has walked the deserts of southern Utah and the dusty trails of the Great Basin learning about our beautiful state so he could share his knowledge with his students. He even flew in the “vomit comet” so he could tell his students what weightless flight was like. This summer he is going to the Library of Congress in Washington DC to study Civil War history and to New Jersey to study math and science. He has so many classes planned he only has two weeks this summer when he is not somewhere learning to do something better.

Not only does dad teach professionally, he is a Boy Scout leader and trainer for them. He recently attended a Master Trainer course for the Boy Scouts so he could be a better trainer to help new Boy Scout leaders become better leaders for the boys they serve. He is a Webelos leader and tells and shows his students how to do the things he teaches his boys. Besides teaching for the Boy Scouts he also teaches classes for environment groups. He has gone to school for Project Wild, Wet, and Learning Tree. He even teaches classes for the Leave No Trace program. When asked once why he teaches so much outside of school he said a mind is a terrible thing to waste and if he could help someone learn something he would be remiss if he did not do it.

I would like to share one more thing about Mr. Jones’ and his previous school. He was chosen to help students who were at risk; they were put in his classroom. There was one boy who had never made it through the whole school year without changing classes/teachers. His parents were going to pull him out of public education and homeschool him. The principal said let’s put him in Mr. Jones’ class and see if he can help the boy out. Well this boy finally made it through the entire year with one teacher and when he heard that Mr. Jones was going to change schools he asked his parents if he could go to the new school and be in Mr. Jones’ class again. This is the type of teacher Mr. Jones is. He has a lot of patience with everyone. We recently had a student transfer into his class from another class in our school. His parents says he is the happiest he has been in a long time. He tells everyone how great a teacher Mr. Jones is.

Mr. Jones attends his student’s athletic events, their dance recitals, concerts, and even plays they are in. He is always there for them. Like in the poem there are countless ways that I could continue to describe why my dad deserves this recognition. But there is not enough paper to put all of the reasons down. I will just end by saying Mr. Jones is his student’s friend, their teacher, and their advocate. He is the type of teacher I hope I can become one day. He is an example and a mentor. He is just a good person through and through.

These are some of the reasons why I think my father; Jimmy Jones deserves to become a KSL Teacher Feature teacher. Help me and his class catch Mr. Jones doing something good by giving him one of your “blue tickets.”

–Michelle Warner

–Students, friends, families, staff, and fellow teachers of Mr. Jones both at Cook ES and Sunset ES school

Mr. J is the nicest male teacher I have had… the nicest teacher I have ever had. Sure he is more strict but what do you expect, I am in fifth grade. He even gives us king size candy bars. And his classroom is great, it has M&M decorations all over it. That’s why he should get the award.

–anonymous student

Dear KSL,

I like my teacher because he’s nice, kind, doesn’t yell at us, gives us candy and lets us take off our shoes in class and walk around in our socks in class

Sincerely, Adrian

Mr. Jones is a funny, always happy guy that loves M&Ms and purple. He doesn’t let anyone frown in his classroom.

–Eli

Mr. Jones is very deserving because of how wonderful he does. Mr. Jones has a very fun classroom. He has lots of fun Eminem (M&M) statues. He is also deserving because he is kind, loving and very happy. He has a class rule that we can’t frown we can just smile and so everyone’s happy all the time. Mr. Jones is very deserving.

Sincerely, Emerson Colquitt

Dear Mr. Jones,

You are a great teacher because you make it look like we don’t have homework. You come to our class with jokes and stories to tell all year. You are so nice to all of us all the time and every year. I really like Mr. Jones, he has been my best teacher ever.

Sincerely, Ethan Packard

Mr. Jones is the best teacher ever and he’s nice to me and I like him so much and he is the best teacher ever.

Love, Jordyn R. Langham

My teacher is always happy. He is the nicest teacher ever. He is always in the funny zone. His stories are the best. I’m not just saying this to be nice. He truly is the best teacher I have ever had. You should hear the stories he tells. They’re the best. Mr. Jones is the best teacher and this is all true.

Sincerely, Shyla Samson

Mr. Jones is my most favorite teacher that I have had so far! He makes me understand things so much! Every day I come to school he makes me smile. You should pick him as the winner of the best teacher!

Sincerely, Jasmine Kearl

Dear KSL,

I have a teacher that has been nominated for Teacher Feature. His name is Mr. Jones; Jimmy Jones. He is the BEST teacher in the whole universe. He is so kind and helpful to me and all the other 25 students in my class. I would love to have him as a 6th grade teacher. I love Mr. Jimmy Jones as my teacher. I think he should get this award.

Love, Kalli Shape

Dear KSL,

Mr. Jones is happy, he is the 2nd best teacher I’ve ever had. You should give him the reward.

–anonymous student

Hi, I am Commander adin

I am in Mr. Jones’ class. I think he is one of the best teachers ever. There are lots of reasons why. One of my favorite things he does on Veterans Day, he lets us try on his uniform or coat and then after that he told us story of his army experience. Well he was in charge of a tank and then he let us try the food, the army eats and it was good. I think we got more than 2 meals and he also makes us run around the goal post to stay fit and healthy and I have diabetes and he always asks me if I am okay after I exercise and he always makes sure I’m okay. He also has a place where people that need help with math so we can catch up. He also doesn’t let us have frowns. His class is a no frown zone and he gives us treats if we’re good and he has special treats just for me. I think Mr. Jones is the best and should win please.

Dear KSL,

Mr. Jones is a great teacher

From, Riley Marriott

Dear KSL,

My teacher should win!!!!!!!!!!! Mr. Jones makes us laugh when he’s teaching us. He makes learning fun. He is the only boy teacher in this school. He is never mean. He calls candy fruit, nuts, and vegetables. He says this class is the no frown zone to people who frown. He is very friendly and kind. He is nice and he teaches us in a really fun way. One friend in another class said she would like to have my teacher. I know he is the best teacher in the world. I think everyone in the world would like this class. I know I do!! He is the best – a million times.

Sincerely, Alexis Lechtenberg

Dear KSL,

Mr. Jones is the best teacher and this is why, he lets us take off our shoes in class, he really likes M&Ms and he is the only male teacher in Cook. He is very happy, never angry. He calls candy “fruits, nuts, and vegetables”. We can get candy for 1 or 2 white tickets. I realy hope he gets this reward.

From, Caden Myers