Growing up with a connection to children from babysitting, Phedra Jones found a job that would take her on a journey she never imagined possible.
Without a clue of what career path to take, Jones headed off to college undecided on a major. Some years into college, Angelo State held a fair in which students could speak with professionals about career choices. Giving each occupation in attendance the opportunity to inform the student about a potential career, Jones leaned toward teaching and decided to talk with the dean Dr. Hadmenes about which path to take.
After some convincing, Jones decided to become a teacher and the molding of her career began. The professors at school taught the college student the abilities and methods in which to teach, and later placed her with the dean’s wife for training.
Jones taught other teachers and students in different cities throughout Texas for some years and also in Kuwait overseas, which was a dream come true for her and her son, Sterling, Sterling was 8 at the time and determined to serve in the army.
Upon meeting and getting engaged to her husband Ken, who works at 3M, the teacher who wanted to go and understand it all, settled down. Planning for their future, the decision was made to move to Brown County, pass up the opportunity to teach at Brownwood ISD and teach at Brookesmith.
Jones explains wanting a position that fit her, and after interviewing decided Brookesmith it would be. She’s now teaching secondary school, which is a welcomed change as a teacher. Creative plans and decisions come in to play, which is Jones’ favorite part of teaching.
In describing the methods used in the classroom to strengthen and motivate the students, Jones said upon entering a class room, for her, it never really starts with the students are so cute and “they’re just kids being kids” mentality. Instead, it starts in each class with an approach of observing them, knowing their weaknesses that need to be strengthened and vice versa. As an RTI teacher Jones teaches each student with an individual approach, Whereas some teachers give every student the exact same project. Whether it be History or English, she is always thinking how the lesson can be a benefit to the children.
Having taught in different schools, Jones understands the sensitivity that needs to be understood when teaching children. The hope is that her students will find happiness in experiences, and not just the physical things in life. Being fortunate herself to have so many experiences, the right guidance by the right people led her to the right place.
Twenty-six years later, Jones is still at it.
“I hope teachers will be open minded to the students’ strengths, weaknesses and then be responsible to ensure they’re shaped to create,” Jones said.