World According To: Jauron

Dory Holms, Staff Writer

Among the noisy hallways as students work their way to their next class, one voice stands out. Every day, students passing through the yellow downstairs hall are sure to run into Jason Jauron, or at least hear his encouraging yells towards students to “Get to class and have a great day!” 

Jauron’s plan wasn’t always to be a teacher, he wanted to be a state patrol officer just like his dad. As he grew older his dad pushed him away from law enforcement and he decided to get a degree in business. It wasn’t until years later that he went back to school to become a teacher.

“When I tried to get into law enforcement, initially I thought it would be like my dad’s lifestyle. I like the fact that you know my dad was brave. I like the fact that my dad respected the laws, and he would stand up for them, but in business classes, I realized that wasn’t necessarily my personality, so I veered off and got a degree in business,” Jauron said.

After six years of working in business, his future wife told him to go back to school and become a teacher. Jauron has now been teaching for 23 years, and he is right where he wants to be with his career.

 “Well it would be nice if in the summer I could take a group of students to different parts of the world,” Jauron said “…[like] Africa and spend a month trying to help out a village in some way and also experiencing the different climate,  the different cultures. I think that it would be beneficial for Americans to spend time outside America to see how other people live.”

Jauron recognizes the challenges that come with teaching students today,

“Well I think probably right now in the current environment probably the most difficult thing is just trying to motivate and engage students. And what that means is ever since kids have been allowed to bring in a cell phone, it’s harder and harder for me. It is way more difficult to get their attention and say listen to the story, draw into it.” 

Despite these challenges, Jauron has managed to remain positive.

 “I first became a teacher for the material. I love my material and then before I was a teacher I was a coach and as a coach, I realized I can motivate teenagers and this is the age group I’d like to work with. And so you need a challenge and my teaching is divided into the age before cell phones and the age after, and I’ve adapted, but you’ve got to be creative and win the kids over,” Jauron said.

Jauron loves the material he teaches, but out of the seven different classes he has taught throughout his career, psychology has been his favorite. 

“Well, I like them all. I would definitely say I remember psychology fondly because it was an elective and the content is just great. I found that psychology just drew the kids in so easily, I didn’t have to work hard at all,” Jauron said.

World history is another one of Jauron’s favorite classes that he has taught. 

“… I think world history because I spent the first 17 years of my career in this district seemingly teaching world history, and believe it or not I got to where I looked forward to seeing them sophomores and bringing that curriculum alive and so it’s been a good time,” Jauron said. 

After 23 years of teaching, Jauron had some advice for prospective teachers. 

“If you want to be a teacher, I think you have to know your material. So my advice is to get a master’s degree, in other words, take enough classes that you truly know the material,” Jauron said, “My other bit of advice is besides student teaching, volunteer and try to put yourself around teenagers as much as you can even if it’s like the Iowa games or some type of event because you have to find out, ‘can I be around these people eight hours a day and do I have the personality, the backbone, do I have the perseverance to continue to work with them?’ cause as soon as a teenager tells me to go fly a kite or just walks off how do I handle that? and that’s why I think teachers gravitate towards elementary or middle school or high school. But you’ve got to put yourself around them for a long time.” Jauron said.

Outside of teaching, Jauron has many fun hobbies he does in his free time, such as going biking with his wife, going on nature walks, and taking his kids fishing. He has taken his kids fishing so many times they now have an annual fishing competition, “The Bass Master Classic.”

“I’m big on getting out and making sure that me, my wife, and my kids have a connection to nature and for whatever reason, I just got a family that bought into that,” Jauron said.

He also enjoys playing in his summer tennis league with his friends, “I am friends with some Simpson professors in Indianola, and we have a little summer tennis league we do so it’s always nice to drag my family to watch me get beat.” Jauron stated.

For a long time, he participated in the Iowa games doing tennis doubles with his son. He loves being outside with his family because he spends enough time inside with other people’s kids. 

“Well I’m the best dad ever and that’s my greatest accomplishment and underneath there I think I’m a pretty good husband.” 

Jauron’s greatest accomplishments aren’t at work. They are with his family.    

“But really in my life when I look at accomplishments, it’s at home because again, teaching is what I do it’s not who I am. But I’m pretty good at teaching. But you know that’s not hopefully how I get remembered with my family.”

One event in Jauron’s life that has changed the way he goes about his day-to-day life was his father’s passing.

“Recently when my father passed and that reminded me of my mortality and it also reminded me to be a little more grateful in the daily experience because I like to get wound up, I have high expectations, I want the kids to be successful but we tow a tough line and sometimes I don’t know if the kids realize how happy I am when I do that. So since my dad passed I need to show a little more gratitude. That as we’re working hard and I’m pushing [students] I’m enjoying this and that I want to be here I want to be around you young people,” Jauron said.

As a history teacher, Jauron has been to Europe many times, but one thing that stands out to him every time is Europe’s sense of togetherness and community.

“I would probably say if you’ve been to Europe enough and you’ve seen the cathedrals and all of them, even the streets, how they built these things and how they’ve stood the test of time and how the people cherish these things. It just reminds me that we do spend a lot of time in this country focused on careers and money and in other places they are a little more community and socially oriented.” Jauron continues, “I think the first time we went to Europe my wife and I was in ‘99 and as Americans, breakfast takes four minutes, lunch takes 11 and dinner takes about 15. In Europe, these are events and there are protocols and you visit, you talk, and my wife and I discovered that we were Americans in Europe because, on a good day at dinner, we said about 15 words because we’re eating and then we leave and here in Europe I mean you’re discussing the future. I mean they just seem to be so much more social and happy and relaxed and it just threw me because in America it’s work, work, work, work, sleep, work, work and here in Europe they’re just like not anxious to get back home. They’re having a good dinner. They seem to know each other and we just don’t do that in America.”

Jauron’s piece of advice for high school students was getting a college degree.

“I’m an educator it’d be nice to get some type of a degree in college. Assotictes, two year, four year because my experience in the business world is some type of a degree will allow you to switch jobs easier because believe it or not at 20, 30, 40 you still might not know who you are or what you want to do and if you want to spend 10 years at a welder, if you want to spend 10 years in insurance, if you want to spend 10 years as a CEO you’ve got to have the degree that will allow you to get up and choose another adventure and so that’s the educator in me,” Jauron said.  

Jauron also wants young people to prioritize experiences over material goods. 

“You need to consider experiences versus stuff because Americans are good at being consumers and your house is littered with stuff. You could’ve spent that money and had an experience and I think that’s one thing I want kids to know especially when they’re young,” Jauron said. 

His final piece of advice for young people was to enjoy their life and have fun. 

“In this country, we put a lot of emphasis on a career and how to make a career but we don’t put much emphasis on life and how to make a life and you’re gonna work enough. You just need to focus on what makes you happy,” Jauron said.