Teacher’s reach is still impacting students

Sandra Kinney, Writer

In the September 23, 2016 issue of The Bengal’s Purr, I wrote my very first story about new teachers that included a quote by psychology teacher, Mike Jones.
In that story, I quoted Jones as saying, “I am a 250 lb. man with feelings.” That quote became the staple of Jones’s interactions and advice to students.
To seniors thinking about college and careers, he said, “live your life. Don’t live in an ambiguous gray area.”
“Do things, make messes and try to clean them up. There will be bad times. Don’t let the bad times be too bad or the good times be too good.”
During high school, the one thing Jones wished he had done more of was put himself out there. “That’s how you find out what you like. You only get one shot,” he said.
As a teacher, the responsibility of molding children in the classroom looms large, but for Jones, that responsibility is one reason that he loves his job.
“Sometimes you don’t realize the impact that you have on other people. From a teaching perspective, you could say something on the first day of school, and students will remember it on the last day of school. And you didn’t even think that someone heard what you said in the first place,” he said with some incredulity.
“I hope students going out into the world live up to their full potential. It’s cool watching them go out and gaining a sense of appreciation for the world around them. There is so much opportunity in every student. Any one of them could impact the world or impact someone around them, and it is exciting to think of how much potential each student has,” he added.
Jones never thought that a student would remember the way he described himself on that first day, but that statement began a student/teacher friendship that I and many others will remember for the rest of our lives.