Most people have that teacher that they credit for helping them find their voice. Hundreds of students in Harrison County are carrying a stronger tune thanks to one music teacher.
“They make me look good every day, whether I am having a bad day or not. They always come up and say hello and it changes my whole attitude,” said Joe Jedju, music teacher at Wilsonburg, North View, Salem and Adamston elementary schools.
Jedju was named the 2018 West Virginia General Music Teacher of the Year. He spends his days in Harrison County rotating between four elementary schools teaching hundreds of young students how to have a voice, among other important life lessons.
“When I moved to West Virginia, and I got this job. I was very surprised at how open the students were to me about their home life, and I said I’ve got to bring some happiness to some of these kids. And so I try my very best to greet them every day and make sure they can approach me about anything, and they know that and they have. It’s really been an experience,” explained Jedju.
Jedju has 41 years of teaching under his belt, and he said he has learned a lot throughout those years. Jedju offered advice for other teachers based on his experience.
“You might not get the job that you had planned on. I have graduate credits in marching band, and that is all that I ever wanted to do was be a marching band. I spent zero years being a marching band director, and I found out that this is what I wanted to do. So if you are going to get a job, get a job and do your best at it even if it is not exactly what you want. You are going to get it eventually,” Jedju said.
Jedju said he continues to enjoy teaching and has no plans on retiring anytime soon.