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Passion for helping others learn led teacher to the classroom

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Many students wonder why anyone would want to go back to school willingly -- even if it is to teach. The idea seems dreadful. It has to be done, though; we need teachers.

Some people go straight to school to teach. Others, like George Washington High School English teacher and improv instructor Adam Jones, may take time off from school before deciding it's what they want to do with their lives. Either way, we can agree it's good they did because they're our source of education.

Growing up, Jones loved school, but it wasn't until after he took time off from it that he realized he wanted to be a teacher. He said after three years of college, he took time off because he had changed his major so many times.

However, that time made him realize that he really missed school and wanted to stay there forever. Also during that time, while helping his younger sister, he learned he loved helping others learn, so he went back to school to pursue a teaching career.

He enjoyed the high school material, deciding to teach it instead of teaching younger students. He loved English, in particular.

"I love reading and writing!" he exclaimed. "I'm constantly reading. I'm even trying to write a book. It seemed like the best niche for me."

Teaching is certainly something you don't do for money. Teachers know going in they won't get paid a lot.

"I love the kids. When I'm grumpy, it's for the kids," Jones said. "You don't become a teacher because you get paid a lot. You become a teacher because you like education and value the students."

Like all jobs, teaching has its frustrations. For Jones, it's when politics get involved or when students aren't picking up lessons as well as they should.

"My least favorite thing about teaching is when politicians who know absolutely nothing about teaching try to tell me how to do my job," he said. "I think making the education process fun is one of the only ways to get students to learn. Some things can't be made fun, but I try my best to make them fun."

Teachers are needed now more than ever because of our weak education system. Most students need influential adults in their lives. They need adults who will teach them right and wrong and guide them down the right path.

Jones pleaded, "Don't become a teacher if you're not prepared to care [about the student] because we don't want you." National Teachers Day is May 7. It's time we thank our teachers for teaching us, no matter what happens in our lives. After all, building the next generation's knowledge can be quite the day's work.


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