Class of 2020: Mike Jaros

Mike Jaros

Mike Jaros

23 years teaching, 19 years at District 28
Northbrook Junior High Social Studies

“I owe much of the joy in my teaching career to Kate Garside. Fourteen years of working together will do that to you. Through that time, you argue, make up, smile, plan, disagree, and then start it over again.”


Teaching is Mike Jaros’ second career. After graduating from SIU with a journalism degree, he worked for Sun Newspapers in LaGrange, then moved on to Roosevelt University where he headed media relations for 11 years. He started his career as a social studies teacher when he was 40, spending the last 19 years of his 23-year teaching career here in District 28, where he is retiring from teaching U.S. History for 7th grade.

Advice for first-year teachers


In my first year, I always thought the classroom should be TOTALLY quiet. If the principal walked by and any student was talking (with a classmate), that is not good. Today, students talking (amongst themselves) is the norm, and quite frankly, oftentimes students have questions or comments about the topic and might say something to each other. It’s all good – within reason, of course.

Teachable moment

Be careful how you use statistics.

We were inferring from data about African countries. One column mentioned literacy rates. Another column noted the number of television sets per person. This information was then compared with the U.S.

One student, in all sincerity, noted the connection that the U.S. has more TVs per person and a higher literacy rate than Zimbabwe, therefore television adds to the literacy rate. This, by the way, was when reality television was at its height.

Inspiration

To be inspired, not only do you need to be helped by another person, but you need to see that you are also making an impression on that person.

I owe much of the joy in my teaching career to Kate Garside. Fourteen years of working together will do that to you. Through that time, you argue, make up, smile, plan, disagree, and then start it over again. In the end, we oftentimes questioned each other, but by doing this we made each other better teachers, and more importantly, brought out the best in our students.

One student I will always remember is Emily Duff. Emily has many hurdles to overcome that the average student does not face. We joked with each other, and she could dish it out as well as take it in, all in good spirits. Needless to say, I shed a tear when Emily graduated last year. She is just a super person!

Retirement plans

Teeing off on the 14th hole at Dorchester in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, while my colleagues are experiencing the deafening sounds during lunch duty. I’ll be sure to call them, maybe once or twice.