It was not until the 10th grade that Joel Jones, along with is family, would relocate to the state of Iowa. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jones graduated with a degree in political science from Iowa State University. However, it was his time spent working at Mayhem Comics in Ames, Iowa that persuaded Jones to pursue a career in teaching.
“At the comic book store, I would teach kids how to play card games. I loved working with kids. So, I decided to go back and get an elementary education degree in addition to my political science degree,” Jones stated.
Jones began his teaching career as a 4th grade teacher for Walnut Street School in the Des Moines School District. After 5 years at this location, he accepted a position with the Waukee School District as a 6th grade English teacher. And, after three years at the Waukee Middle School, Jones has nothing but positive praise concerning his district and his middle schoolers.
“I love the 6th grade. My students are more independent and naturally curious,” Jones stated, “I love working with Waukee kids. They are super caring and good thinkers. The best part about teaching in the district is the support from the other teachers. I have learned a lot from them.”
In addition to teaching, Jones is also involved in a variety of activities throughout the middle school. As the assistant coach for the mock trial team, Jones helps 6th – 8th graders learn about the judicial process. Students act as lawyers and witnesses in order to present a case both from the prosecution point of view and the defense point of view. They then compete head to head against other schools where a career lawyer acts as the judge. Points are judged based on how well each team knows and argues their case.
Jones has also participated in a comic club where students meet during advisory in order to discuss the comic books they are reading. He has served on the building leadership committee where he helps plan professional development days. And, this past spring break, Jones has assisted with chaperoning the 7th grade Washington DC trip.
When not helping with district events or teaching, Jones loves spending time with his 9 year old daughter, Aria and 15 year old son, Bennett. He also loves reading and playing board and card games.
What do you like best about Mr. Jones?