Meet Ms. Leah Jones, teacher at LIFE Prep School in St. Paul, MN.
We asked Leah...
What grade do you teach?
I teach 4th grade!
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching 14 years
What inspired you to pursue a career in education?
My mother was a respiratory therapist and she often did home visits for patients who could not travel to a hospital because they were too ill. She sometimes brought me with her. I can remember meeting all sorts of people with many different needs. My mom often bought groceries for patients that could not afford food and she always showed them an indescribable kindness that was just as healing as the medication she was giving. I knew I wanted to become something that made a difference like my mom. I always had a way with kids and it was clear to me that putting those two things together would be fulfilling.
Who was the most influential teacher or administrator in your life, and why?
The most influential teacher in my life was Bette. I did my student teaching in her classroom and she saw value in my passion for teaching more than just “the book” stuff. She provided me with an environment to try anything I wanted, be creative, laugh with the students as well as the staff, and she treated me as an equal right from the start. She was a leader. Through her example, she taught me what it meant to be a leader. Anytime I have looked for a teaching position, I have always held it up to my experience at Ann Arbor Open with Bette. It took me a long time to find a school where I felt the same admiration for the staff as I did there.
Does having access to school supplies really make a difference in the classrooms at your school, and to kids? If so, how?
Having access to school supplies makes a huge difference in my classroom. My students deserve to not worry about having the notebooks, crayons, and pencils they need to be the best student they can be. When we have enough of these things, my students can be creative and confident. They get excited about learning! Having your students excited about learning is every teachers dream!
What do your students think about the One for You, One for Me idea?
My students love this idea. Community service is important at LIFE Prep and when we talk about people who make it their mission to help others and support their community.
How will you use this idea/ lesson in your classroom?
My students are always looking for examples of how we can help each other as a community. Yoobi is a perfect example of that! My fourth graders think the idea of supplying schools with the things they need through this kind of program is fantastic. I think in the future we will take a closer look at how a business like this is successful while making a difference for others.