Samara Valencia Perez also contributed to the article.
Malden High School has yet again welcomed another new addition to the Boyle House. Jean Jones has joined the Math and Special Education departments. She currently teaches in a team of four different Math 1 teachers.
Jones grew up in Fort-Smith, Arkansas. She attended the University of Arkansas for five years, majoring in English Language Arts. She later decided when becoming a teacher that she enjoyed math more than she thought. Working as a teacher is Jones’ first full-time job. Before coming to Malden High School, she only ever worked at a library as a part-time job to earn money in college. Jones has wanted to be a teacher since she was young.
Jones said, “I used to always play school when I was little, and I would be the teacher just because I had always wanted to be one.” Jones also mentioned, “I had strong teachers that connected to me and influenced me to do the same.”
Stephanie Sibley, Principal of Boyle House, was more than happy to hire Jones. Sibley said that, “increasing the number of teachers of color has been a huge goal for [Malden High School] and especially Principal Mastrangelo.” Sibley talked about how Jones attended the Juneteenth flag-raising ceremony last year “before she even started working here.”
Sibley adds how Jones showed knowledge about Special Education during her interview. Jones “really seemed to know how to support the students and their learning, which [MHS] really needed for a new teacher.” Sibley believes that Jones showed a “qualified experience” to students and came across as being “very sensitive to the students’ needs academically and otherwise.” She believed that Jones was the perfect match for Malden High School and the specific department she joined.
Elizabeth Tirrell, another teacher on the Math 1 team mentioned that Jones was “very patient” and “super kind” to the people she worked with. “She really connects with the [students], which is a huge element in teaching math.”
Jones went into detail about how “figuring out how to make things fun for kids” is the most difficult part for her at the Malden High School. “Most kids don’t find math fun or engaging” so Jones tries to motivate them to make the students “feel successful” even if they do not like it. Jones “hated math growing up” but understood a lot better during adulthood. Considering this, she understands why the children find it hard to learn.
Other than English and Math, Jones enjoys a variety of activities and hobbies. She goes to the gym, does weight training, spin classes, yoga, kickboxing and more physical activities. She “really likes watching movies and tv shows.” Jones also adds that she “loves music and going to concerts,” but COVID-19 made that “difficult” for her to do.
Jones is “glad to be at [MHS]” and hopes to build that “teaching element” that she has learned from teachers before her. Jones notices that “students can have a hard time in school” so she is open to talking to anyone about anything. She makes it clear that her “listening skills and giving others advice” are huge strengths as being a teacher.