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Former Army Infantry Officer Finds New Calling As Greenwich History Teacher

Ryan Jones teaches at Western Middle School.
Ryan Jones teaches at Western Middle School. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

GREENWICH, Conn. -- A former U.S. Army infantry lieutenant said that teaching offers him a chance to use the leadership skills he learned to help impart his love of history to his Greenwich students.

Ryan Jones, 32, decided to become a teacher after his military career ended. And he said it turned out to be the right choice.

"After I left the military I decided to do something that would allow me to use my leadership skills," he said. "I was a big history buff and got into teaching to see if this works and it's turned out to be definitely the right career choice for me."

He was helped in his choice by his wife, Megan, a teacher in the Stamford Public Schools, who urged him to consider teaching after he left the military.

Wearing a T-shirt with the Western Middle School Mustangs logo Jones gathered with other Greenwich Public School staff on the first day of the school year for teachers last Friday. Jones is an eighth-grade social studies teacher at the school and is entering his fifth year in the Greenwich Public Schools.

The Norwalk resident grew up in Greenwich and attended the public school system until graduating in 2002 from Greenwich High School. He said it's fulfilling to return to his roots.

"I care a lot about community and to be able to give back to the community is awesome," he said. "A lot of things have changed butI think the spirit of Greenwich is still very much alive. The kids are doing the same sort of hijinks that I did when I was in high school. It's a bigger town but it still has that small town feel."

He said passing on his love of history to students is the challenging aspect of teaching. Teaching is about instilling a passion and excitement for learning in students and not just a dry recitation of dates and names, he said.

"Knowing the content is a very small fraction of it because you have to impart your passion for it to the kids," he said. "It's not about names and dates, it's about concepts. So that transition from knowing the content really well to teaching it to kids, that's a difficult transition sometimes."

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