Meet Jon Blasko
Program Manager at TEACH
Jon has had several great teachers, a group of educators to whom he credits his lifelong positive and nurturing experience with school. Yet, he knows that is not an experience all students share, so he has dedicated his career to helping change that. After earning his undergraduate degree in secondary social studies education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Jon spent nearly eight years as a teacher and instructional coach at Nimitz High School in Houston’s northside. His work has been driven by his belief that big impact can come from small changes in communication between teachers and students.
Having joined TEACH in June 2021, Jon was immediately inspired by the team’s positivity, passion and commitment to the organization’s mission. As a Program Manager, he’s most excited about being a partner and a resource to teachers. For the first time in his education career, he’ll be seeing the classroom from the outside, while continuing to work closely with fellow educators and making a long-lasting impact in their classrooms – something he calls a very special opportunity. When he’s not working, you’ll find Jon, an avid indoor cyclist, at a spin class, or you may find him binging reality TV, but you’ll never find him without a cup of coffee in hand.
TEACH: What do you love most about working in education?
JB: Even though it may not be immediate, I love seeing the impact that just one person – a teacher, a coach, an administrator – can have on students. On this side of what I do, I like being able to see how teachers work and building personalized relationships with them to help them make an impact on their classrooms.
TEACH: At the end of the day, what is one thing you find most fulfilling about your job?
JB: For me, it’s about that human piece. I love getting to work with people from all different backgrounds and discovering our commonalities through ongoing communication and in working together. Sometimes teachers’ first reaction is to be defensive or protective about their work; they can be hesitant about our coming into their classroom. Once we establish our process and they get to see what we do first-hand, it’s amazing to see how quickly they open up and adopt our strategies. They realize that we’re here for the long-haul, spending one-on-one time with them and checking in weekly. It’s a special lightbulb moment.
TEACH: Who do you consider one of the great teachers in your life and why?
JB: I’ve always enjoyed school, so I’ve had several teachers who stand out. What they all had in common was patience, passion and the ability and the desire to get to know the whole student. School can be challenging for many students, so patience is key, as is excitement and passion for teaching. My favorite teachers were the ones who made it obvious that they were invested in me as a human. Nationwide, teachers are underpaid and overworked, yet they put in some of the longest hours out of any profession. Great teachers show up; they’re there no matter what.
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