EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

David Jolley – South Jordan Middle School

Mar 31, 2009, 4:30 AM | Updated: Aug 4, 2022, 12:06 pm

Mr. Jolley was my son’s seventh grade science teacher. The transition from elementary to middle school was a little difficult for him and very quickly my son had several missing assignments in every class. He was despondent about school and hated going. However, Mr. Jolley was teaching a unit about animals and mentioned something about wolves, a subject which was very interesting to my son. It was a small part of the unit, and I didn’t think much about it. MY son was still missing assignments for the animal unit. When it came time for the test in this class, my son had spent a great deal of time researching wolves and since there was one question on wolves on the test, my son wrote down everything he had learned about wolves off to the side. Mr. Jolley took note of that and spent the time to write a positive, detailed comment to my son about how bright he was and how impressed he was with my son’s knowledge and motivation to learn more about the wolves. (I still have the paper!) Then he gave my son 2 extra credit points for “going the extra mile.” These two points did not really effect his grade in any great way; however, the comments from this teacher sparked something in my son. This teacher had taken the time to give him some positive reinforcement and to show that he cared about my son as a person. From that point on, in Mr. Jolley’s class, my son NEVER missed another assignment. He exceled in science. In other classes, he was still missing assignments, but never in Mr. Jolley’s class because he knew that Mr. Jolley cared about him. My son still has a love of science due to Mr. Jolley’s willingness to take the time to nurture a struggling student. The next year, my son continued to go back to visit Mr. Jolley. His classroom was a safe haven for my son in the wild Middle School world. During a few of these visits, Mr. Jolley noticed that my son was interested in a small poster on the wall about poisonous plants. After taking note of this, Mr. Jolley quietly took it down and made a copy for my son to take home the next day. This may seem like a small or possibly insignificant act, but Mr. Jolley does several small, kind acts that sometimes go unnoticed, but which are very impacting in the lives of these floundering Middle School-age children. My son has a better attitude about school and feels safer at school knowing that Mr. Jolley is there. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Jolley for the positive impact he has had in the life of my son and for the example of kindness he has set so many young children, for me and for my son! He is a one-of-a-kind teacher!

-Deborah Hanson

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David Jolley – South Jordan Middle School