There’s an old saying that goes, ‘Those who cannot do teach.” However, Heather Jones has a different theory on her profession. “I would argue that those who teach actually get to do it all and all in the company of incredibly enthusiastic 10-year-old people,” she said.
Heather is wrapping up her 15th year in the profession and is currently a fourth grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary School. She enlightens her students in core studies like math, science and social studies while also mixing in language and the visual arts. Like many young people, Heather wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, but her love of learning eventually landed her on the path to becoming an educator.
“I love exploring nature so I thought be a biologist; I loved reading and imagined myself writing adventure stories; I wanted to learn about cultures from all over the world and imagined myself as a roving photojournalist. While in college, going several directions at once, I uncovered a love of the art of education and working with children,” said Heather.
Heather is relatively new to the Peninsula School District, having spent her previous 14 years teaching across the country in Kentucky. A move across three time zones is no easy feat, but before embarking on a new adventure in the West, she found that her impact on her previous community will be felt for years to come.
“A class I taught both third and fourth grade to was graduating from high school as I was leaving. A good number of them came back to visit in their caps and gowns to let me know how important our time together was to them,” said Heather. These young adults recalled not just the academics but the relationships they built with friends and their teacher at such a young age. “This reflection with these students reminded me that there is no knowing the far-reaching implications of time spent in the classroom.”
Heather’s impact is just beginning to be felt in the Gig Harbor community, and if there’s one consistent lesson she wants her students to learn it’s that life and its rewards are built upon a foundation of hard work. “There is nothing that cannot be accomplished if you are willing to put in the effort. It is my greatest desire that no student would limit themselves in any way,” she said.
Heather smiles each day as she watches her young scientists, writers, readers, mathematicians and explorers make their own daily discoveries, many of which will stay with them long after they’ve left her classroom. “In the classroom we are always working on building the skill of perseverance because it is not something you have to be born with; tenacity can be learned!”