Welcome to. my Portfolio! My goal is to be hired as a speaker for suicide prevention. I possess an awesome story of surviving a suicide attempt at the hands of a semi-truck traveling 65 mph just outside Eugene, Oregon. I have a passion for ending suicide in both teens and people of all ages. I hope you will consider me, because with almost two decades of experience speaking in schools, at churches, and even at public suicide conferences in both the city and college level, I am well-equipped to battle this tragic turning point many see no other way out of.
Videos Done on My Story:
Video. Done By David Miller U of M film Festival at the. Crystal Theater:
Video of me on the 700 Club:
Story Featured on Missoula's Local News Station
Including, but Not Limited To:
Spoke School Suicide Prevention At:
Big Sky Bible Camp
Told My Suicide Testimony to the Older Boys
One: Thirty-Eight Poems by JS Jones
Books I’ve Written:
The Day I Took My Own Life
This is one I wrote about my experience with teenage depression and how I made my way out of it. Great reading! Offers hope & love.
Little 'Bout a Lotta
As a young guy, I got lost. There were so many things I could learn. They all sounded fascinating, but which to spend time on, to me, was a mystery. In my book, I explore the benefits of learning something in every possible situation. There is no summit to learning. The only destination is a love and involvement in the process of being a learner.
Thirty-Eight Poems by JS Jones
This is a book I wrote in Seattle during a relative's surgery. It's a collection of poetry dealing with beauty, pain, and the power to overcome.
In pausing to reflect on my experiences as a student teacher, it occurs to me that this final paper is an example of the endpoint of any lesson plan. This was the point at which my academic learning became hands on learning and transitioned to personal learning and application. The part where the student is changed by the acquisition of knowledge and experience.
At the start of the semester I was full of enthusiasm and grandiose ideas of my potential expertise in the teaching profession. By the second hour, however, I was appropriately terrified. As I watched my perceptive teacher manage all rings of this circus called a classroom, with the students being both audience and understudies, I realized how very much I had to learn.
And so it began. Make a lesson plan, identify goals, and plan how to meet the goals. Make it interesting, creative, challenging, and concrete. Gear the lesson plan to the group, to the individual, to those who excel, to the challenged. Toss and turn and dream about the lesson plan as it relates to the next lesson plan, and the next. Narrow and expand the concepts (the possibilities being endless). Include some grammar, some creative writing, some poetry, some art. Age appropriate, curriculum-oriented, state standards met, diversity acknowledged, politically correct. Figure out how to keep them in their seats and quiet, how to discipline if needed, how to make them listen, how to make them care. Evaluate the outcome.
All was well and good, though hugely challenging. Middle of the semester; something is missing. I’m realizing a lack of connection, a lack of feeling the purpose in it all. Everyone knows these kids are here because they have to be. It’s middle school, not college and they aren’t worried about student loans and degrees. They are worried about identity, and peers, and being liked and wearing the right clothes. How do I make them see a purpose in what’s going on in the classroom? Inner light bulb begins to come on. As with every other experience in life, it’s about the human connection. If I can connect, they will listen. If they listen, they will learn. If they learn, they can apply. They need to be shown how it applies. If they apply, they can change their own lives and other lives. It’s very important stuff, this connecting with the students. I began to learn their names, faces, behaviors, and interests. I began to keep these in mind throughout the lesson planning and evaluation. I began to think of hands on activities that would connect with developmental stage intellect and emotion. I began to connect.
Making and meeting student teaching goals and approaching my time at Target Range with the intention of completing them, kept me on task. Every time I sat down at my desk in the school, I would look over my notes on my lesson plans, comparing them to the state standards and finally to my goals. Just like anything else in life, progress is best made when something is approached with an intention. My intention was to become a great teacher, and although I am far from finished, I feel that this experience has set me well on my way.
At the beginning of the semester, I felt lost and overwhelmed. Transitioning from student to teacher is a huge step and I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared for it by academics alone. Being the organized person I am, I made every effort to nail the schedule, rubric, and curriculum from the start. If anything, I walked into the classroom too equipped and spent more time on the prep work than on my actual relationship with the students. But as I would soon find out, going into teaching fulfills one of my deepest needs and that is to reach out and help our growing youth. When I was in middle school, I felt like life had never made less sense. I wasn’t an adult yet, but I would never admit that I was a child. In this sort of three year limbo, I did more searching than at probably any other point of my life. But luckily, along with the greatest hardship usually comes the greatest growth.
My student teaching goals were like stepping stones, or a road map through an unfamiliar wilderness. When I walked in, being nervous and in new territory, I was all business. But as the semester concluded, it occurred to me how astonishing my connection with the kids had become. I knew all of their names, likes, dislikes, and whom they could and could not sit next to. But for the first time in my life, it felt like I could see into someone, really grasping who they were at their center. On my last day of class, I spent thirty minutes talking to one of my favorite students. He approached me, telling me all about movies and television sports he liked to watch. I just listened. I have come to realize that as a teacher, this is often your most important job. Like I mentioned, junior high years are very awkward and what kids are mostly looking for is to be told they are good enough to enter the fast-approaching world of adulthood. When my student had finished, I shook his hand and told him that I was very proud of him, that he was a very smart young man with a lot of potential, and that it had been my greatest honor to work with him. He didn’t say anything after I told him this; he just turned around with a wide grin and exited the classroom. But having gotten to know him over the last four months, I could tell that deep down, what I had said would leave a lasting imprint on how he felt about himself. That day, I did more than teach, I inspired. But the magic of the whole thing was that I didn’t inspire with something I did, but by getting a student to realize who he was.
As a future teacher I feel the semester has taught me so many logistical things. I’m still growing in how to manage all the rings of the circus at the same time. My professional goals have been clarified and shaped by the experience and will continue to evolve. I have a heart for the downtrodden, which by the way are from all walks of life. I have a passion for people knowing and acting from the core of their better selves, which I believe is the cure for bullying. I love literature and writing and showing students how both can help you navigate the practical and artistic world. Most of all, I want to teach with connection, so they will listen, learn, apply, and go change the world.
Graduated from the University of Montana School of Education
Secondary. Language Arts Class of 2014
Graduated from the University of Montana COT 2009
School of Pharmacy Technology
Graduated from Valley Christian High School 2004
Won the Turnaround Kid Scholarship
· Master Black Belt in Shotokan Karate
· ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
· Pharmacy Technician
· Licensed English Teacher
· Certified Bookkeeper
· Certified in. Business Management
· Certified Life Coach
Blog Article I Wrote, Featured in MakeitMissoula.com
Regards Hikes around Missoula, MT
My Award-Winning Poem
Featured in the Library of Congress:
I got hit on the head
When I was seventeen
Pronounced clinically dead
Comatose, trapped in dreams
When I awoke, welcomed up
I was now three years-old
Weighed 100 pounds
I was cold
Right away, I perceived
It was me, then the other
I’d touched death
Felt like life’s little brother
All my Ivy League doctors
Diagnosed me the same
Though my body was healing
T’was not so with my brain
The trip out of trauma
Took a full fifteen years
If you’ll excuse the cliche
It was blood, sweat, and tears
But I’ve learned an earned lesson
And one I never will lose
The only true disability
Is no power to choose
As I sit here today
I’m now near thirty-three
And what my brain’s now obtained
Is two college degrees
So if you face a setback
See half full is your cup
Sorry, one more cliche
Let me say:
Don’t give up!
Thank you for your time and consideration!