WKU Football Player Prepares to Teach Special Education
- Monday, February 21st, 2022
Juwuan Jones is a familiar name to football fans and has been honored twice as an Academic All-American. He’s also known as Mr. Jones to his professors and the teachers and students at Drake Creek Middle School where he student teaches as part of earning his MAT: Special Education degree.
Jones came to the Hill from Sugar Hill, Georgia because it was the right size and had a good environment for his college football career. By joining the WKU football team, he gained a second family that taught him how to be part of a team and time-management skills.
After earning his undergraduate degree, Jones decided to work towards a master’s degree in teaching. He comes from a family of educators and being in the classroom is preparing him for a similar career. Jones says, “I am applying what I learned in my Master classes in the classroom. I am learning how to pace lessons, manage the classroom, and manage content.” Jones specifically chose the Special Education field so he “can make the most impact on students. As an African American, it is important that people of my ethnicity have jobs in the education field, especially special education. A lot of the kids placed in special education are minorities. I want to be a role model for these students and show them that they can be successful despite their disability.”
Being part of the WKU football team allowed Jones to “be a part of something that was bigger than myself.” A Black Lives Matter March in 2020 is “one of greatest accomplishments in my life.” Jones says, “It was organized by student athletes, and I had to speak at the March before we walked up and down Avenue of Champions for rights for African American people. This was inspired by the marches that were happening across America at the time because of the George Floyd killing. It was good to see all the student athletes coming together for one common cause. People from all different backgrounds and ethnicities coming together for one purpose. It was something terrific to see.”
After football, Jones strives to make an impact on students’ lives, both in the classroom and on the field as a coach, to give children the same support and tools to overcome adversity he’s experienced over time. His advice for Black students that are coming to WKU, “I would say to not be afraid of being yourself. Embrace the things that make you unique and stand out. Do not try to fit in with the crowd. Find those people on campus and in Bowling Green who like you for who you are. Also, make sure to get involved on campus as much as you possibly can. As an African American, you must be willing to put yourself out there and take chances. It is important to make a lot of connections and network because you never know when these relationships that you make can benefit you in the long run.”
To learn more about the MAT: Special Education program go to https://www.wku.edu/educatorservices/artc.