For Park City teacher, the profession is in his blood
Jacob Jobe says teaching is a chance to change lives
November 29, 2016
In the corner of Jacob Jobe’s classroom at Park City High School hangs a family heirloom: his great, great grandmother’s Missouri teaching license from the late 1800s.
For Jobe, a fourth-year English and journalism teacher at the school, it’s the perfect reminder of those who came before him in the profession. His father was a math teacher and is now an administrator. His mother is a retired art teacher. His grandma was a teacher, too.
Growing up, he felt no pressure to follow the family career path. But being surrounded by teachers throughout his childhood, and witnessing the positive experiences it brought into their lives, ultimately pushed him into the profession, as well.
“I watched them interacting with students, and being around that all the time, I really liked it,” said Jobe, who also married a teacher. “It was fun. So it was never expected, and it wasn’t guaranteed — I thought about doing a lot of different things — but it was just natural to be like, ‘That’s what I’m going to do.’”
Still, actually leading a classroom day after day is different from watching family members who have done it. Five years into his career, Jobe remains certain that it was the correct path. He enjoys not knowing what each day will hold when he walks into school, and he relishes the opportunity to continuously learn.
“You learn a lot from the kids,” he said. “If you ever stop learning, you should stop teaching. Because you’re learning new stuff every day, which is one of the really cool parts about teaching. You step into a class, and depending on what you’re talking about, you learn as much as they do. Not just about content, but about how humans work and how kids interact.”
Even more than that, though, he is passionate about enriching the lives of students. He recalled watching his parents’ former students thank them years later for making a positive impact on their lives. Already in his young career, he has had similar experiences.
Teachers, he said, don’t often realize in the moment how they’re influencing students, but it’s important for them to understand the effect they can have.
“You know, for better or worse, that you’re making an impact,” he said. “You get to know that you’re doing something that’s going to benefit society. Let’s say that, each year, you have an impact on 10 kids. If you teach for 30 years, that’s a lot of people in the world that are changed by you.”
As much as Jobe is hoping to change the lives of his students, in them he sees people who can change the world. He said the connections they make each day in class, drawing parallels between literature and current events, make clear they have what it takes to do incredible things when they leave Park City. Getting to play a part in their journey is the biggest reason he’s happy he chose to enter the family business.
“We always talk about students in terms of them being kids, which is totally true,” he said. “But they grapple with some really intense, difficult concepts pretty much every day. The coolest thing, whether it’s in writing or discussion, is when a student makes a point that even I hadn’t thought about or considered. You’re constantly blown away by how capable they are, which then drives you to challenge them more.”