May is Teacher Appreciation Month and at The I See You Company we’ve been spending the month celebrating teachers!
Recognizing our teachers is a simple act that goes a long way. Our teachers are our country’s greatest resources and they deserve to be reminded regularly!
To round out Teacher Appreciation Month, we wanted to share the amazing story of Mr. Jason Connelly with the help of his beautiful wife, Nicole Connelly.
Jason Connelly’s journey to becoming a teacher is an inspiring story.
He jumped in headfirst to music at 18 years old and tried everything from country to punk, alternative, and even hip hop.
After writing the song, "Father, Father," Jason realized he had a gift for sharing positive words of affirmation and creating uplifting songs.
After his daughter was born, Jason made the decision to slow his music career because he no longer wanted to travel countless hours away from his family.
However, he wanted to keep the spirit of writing and helping people alive in his new career, so he applied for graduate school to become an elementary school teacher.
Nicole, his wife, shared with us that Jason just completed his first year of residency teaching.
Jason made such an impact on these children that several of them hand-wrote letters to the principal on why she should hire Jason to be a full-time teacher at their school.
Apparently, they asked him if they could "see the nurse" while they each slipped into the principal's office without him knowing to read the letters aloud to the principal.
On the last day of his residency, the students each wrote him "Reasons Mr. Connelly ROCKS" notes to compile in a book as a gift. The students wrote things like ‘he understands me,’ ‘he makes me proud of myself’ and ‘he picks me up when I fall.’
In an exciting turn of events, Jason was ultimately brought on as a full-time teacher at the same school of his residency, Big Shanty Elementary, where he will be teaching 4th grade this coming school year!
Now, we are only scratching the surface of this amazing teacher’s story, but we wanted y’all to learn a little bit more about Mr. Jason Connelly so we can all celebrate him together!
Why did you decide to go into teaching?
I went into teaching because I felt there was a real need for positive male role models in early childhood education.
How long have you been a teacher?
I have taught for one year; however, the year was a residency.
What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher at this point in your career?
I get to watch the kids grow from inexperienced learners to independent thinkers.
What does it mean to you to be SEEN for who you are-as a teacher?
It means everything. I chose to leave music out of my classroom until my students got to know me as a teacher. I think being seen as a teacher means you have to elicit trust and a safe environment. If I am seen as a teacher, then it means I am also viewed as safe and trustworthy.
What is your biggest challenge as a teacher?
It’s hard to watch a student struggle.
What is your form of self-care to balance the demands of being a teacher along with your life outside the classroom?
I plan ahead for lessons and make my weekends all about my family. At the end of the day, I am only a good teacher if I am a great father and husband. I learn how to care and provide by spending time with my family, which in turn teaches me how to be a better teacher/leader in the classroom.
What do you want your legacy to be, as a teacher?
I want to know my students taught me just as much as I taught them. If I can reach that goal, then my legacy for learning and teaching others will continue for generations to come.
We asked Jason’s wife, Nicole, what was it like to create an I See You Moment and celebrate him?
Nicole shared, “You know I tried, but you know what he did? He turned around and celebrated the teachers around him instead. That's the kind of person he is.”
Jason, we want you to know that WE SEE YOU! We are honored to know you and support you on this new journey!
We are thankful that life’s path led you to teaching because your impact will be limitless!
If you know a teacher or were ever positively impacted by a teacher, make sure they know you see them, and their efforts are appreciated.
To all of the everyday superheroes who wear the cape of teacher, WE SEE YOU and thank ya’ll for the gift you are to this world!