Recently, The Perennial sat down with AP Literature teacher Hannah Jones to talk about her background, teaching career, and plans after Pinewood.
Jones grew up in Maine, but also lived all over the east coast. She received her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and earned her teaching degree through a program in Maine. She also has a master’s degree in American Studies.
The first job Jones ever had was cooking food in a nursing home when she was 16. When she was 25, she took her first teaching job at Mahoney Middle School in South Portland, Maine. She was motivated to become a teacher because of her own experiences as a student in high school.
“I had a teacher when I was a junior who inspired me to become a teacher. He was my mentor,” Jones said.
When she is not teaching, Jones enjoys writing, singing, and playing tennis. At Pinewood, she says her favorite thing is the people.
“I love the sense of community, how invested in learning everybody is, and how kind everybody is,” Jones said.
Jones has been a valued English techer at Pinewood for nine years, but after giving much time and knowledge to Pinewood, Jones turns to another community to share her talents with.
She plans to start her own business, where she will provide coaching for people with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
People with ADHD often have trouble focusing, forget things, and tend to fidget, all of which can make the learning process far more difficult.
ADHD is far more common than people realize. In children alone, it is estimated that 11 percent of American children have ADHD. Despite the prevalence of ADHD, it is rarely treated well or appropriately.
If there was one thing Jones wished people knew about ADHD, it would be that it is not a problem, but a biochemical difference that can be a strength for a lot of people.
Young people have to make all sorts of big decisions like where to go to college, what to study, and what career path they want to take. Those with ADHD and other executive function issues often have a hard time making long term plans. With her business, Jones will help people by attempting to make decisions easier.
“I’m going to be working with kids on everything from managing time and organizational issues to big picture stuff like ‘What do I want to do with my life?’, ‘What do I want to study?’, and ‘Where do I want to go to school?’,” Jones said.
Jones decided to start her business for several reasons. She was excited at the prospect of working with people all around the Bay Area through Skype. The work Jones will be doing is important to the success of people who would otherwise have to live with ADHD on their own. Jones also feels that she thrives while working one on one with people, and believes a great impact can be made through this kind of interaction.
“Teaching is like improv – you never know exactly what it’s going to be, and when it’s good, teaching is so amazing and so fun. I’m also going to miss the community aspect, and the friends that I see every day,” Jones said.
The Perennial wishes Jones the best of luck.