The new kid at school

Jorge Perez brought on as  the new addition to the social sciences department

Rookie AP Government and Politics teacher Jorge Perez is bringing a new perspective to the Jones community during the 2021-2022 school year. 

At the beginning of his college journey at UIC, he majored in history and history education. Perez had many career paths in mind, such as becoming a paleontologist or a film director. But, as he got older, it was clear to him what his passion was. 

“I went into college undecided. After a full year of college, that’s when I decided I wanted to be a teacher,” said Perez. 

When Perez graduated in December of 2020, life looked a little different than he had planned when he entered college in 2016. He was forced to sacrifice his in-person student teaching experience because of the pandemic. 

“It had its good moments. But there were days where it was tough to engage thirty sophomores,” said Perez. “I definitely would have had a much more interactive experience teaching [if it wasn’t for Covid].” 

But according to Perez, it was all worth it in the end. 

“If I could have chosen the whole student teaching portion, It would have been in person,” said Perez. “But that’s the price that I had to pay to end up here.”

When he can fit it into his busy schedule, Perez enjoys creating interactive presentations for his classes. 

“If I want to include video clips or funny images or GIFs [I can]. My presentations are [going to be] very different from the other teachers,” said Perez. 

Perez’s students are enjoying and benefiting from his interactive teaching style and presentations. 

“They are more interesting and I feel like I learn better when they are interactive,” said Alexandra Healy ‘23, one of Perez’s students. 

Because Perez is a recent college-graduate, he is much closer in age to his students than compared to his colleagues. 

“It’s easier for him to talk to us as we are closer in age,” said Hastings BaCote ‘23, another one of his AP Government students. “He is definitely fun, he understands our jokes.”

In addition to his interactive presentations, his students say he provides a positive energy in the classroom.

“I think he brings a lighthearted energy to the class,” said Healy. 

Perez also makes sure he teaches his content very thoroughly, in hopes that everyone can succeed in the class. 

“He makes sure that everyone understands [the content] before we continue on,” said Owen Brast ‘23, one of Perez’s students. 

According to his students, Perez is skilled at creating efficient lesson plans, making class much more enjoyable and far easier to understand new content.

“He’s doing a good job of balancing giving us time to study and time to do classwork as well,” said Maggie Clark ‘23, one of Perez’s students. 

Overall, students report that Perez is dedicated and excited to improve and get more comfortable in the teaching environment, especially since he graduated less than ten months ago. 

“You can definitely see that he is still trying to figure things out, but I think he is doing a good job with this being his first year, and he is teaching a relatively difficult class,” said Clark. 

It is clear to students that Perez’s goal is to make his class a safe, fun, and positive learning environment for everyone. 

“It seems that he is trying his best to make it an enjoyable learning and teaching experience for everyone,” said BaCote.