Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week: Kim Jones

OBION COUNTY, Tenn. — This week’s Educator of the Week presented by the Tennessee Education Lottery teaches in Union City.

Kenton native Kim Jones has taught for over 25 years but never thought she would have been a teacher.

“Well, when I was younger I really thought I would be a veterinarian. I wanted to work with animals,” Jones said. “The presence of children overtook, and I love kids.”

Jones took part in a ministry through her church 14 years ago where they helped people learn English.

“And that moved into the children here at school. We were getting more and more children that did not speak English that needed help,” Jones said.

Since then, she’s dedicated her days to helping students learn English as an ESL teacher at Ridgemont Elementary School.

“I went back to school and got my degree in ESL, and I have been doing that ever since. It’s more of a ministry than a job to me,” Jones said.

Even though there may be language barriers at times, she says she and her students have a strong connection.

“They love teaching me. That bonds us many times,” Jones said. “When I’ll show them how to say it in English, they’re like, ‘well, let me show you how to say it in Spanish’, or Chinese, or Cambodian.”

Jones says it’s rewarding seeing them succeed and even graduate years later.

“A lot of them are the first to ever graduate high school, and that’s just great. I just feel like I’m part of their lives,” Jones said.

Jones even teaches the children of former students and says it’s what she wants to continue doing.

“I just continue with what I do every day, one day at a time, with these kids,” Jones said. “You’ll never know where my next child is coming from or what their needs may be.”

Jones will now be eligible for the statewide Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award. Starting in June, to vote for her or any of the other nominees, visit seehowitaddsup.com.

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at educator@wbbjtv.com.

Categories: Educator of the Week