Mike Jesewitz

Lower & Middle School P.E.; Assistant Athletics Director

B.A., DePaul University
M.A., Dominican University

mjesewitz@morganparkacademy.org

Coach Jesewitz has more than 10 years of experience teaching P.E. at the elementary and middle school levels. He holds an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and a Master’s in Elementary Education and Teaching from Dominican University.

Q&A

How do you inspire students to enjoy learning?

I inspire students to enjoy learning by teaching them to become comfortable in their own skins. The atmosphere I create in my classroom is always positive and creative. The imaginations I hopefully inspire them to create for themselves help them to enjoy learning by taking the learning from a new perspective. With each individual student, I attempt to find this perspective and teach the students to use it, to thrive as they continue to learn and have fun.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

Years ago, after I filled in teaching a sixth-grade class for two weeks, I had a parent come to me and report that her son had learned more from me in those two weeks than he had from the other teacher in the previous four months. I found this to be inspiring, and the fact that my mere presence made the positive difference in the day of a child, to me is priceless. I continued this where I then taught preschool, inspiring more young learners. The career path then was easy: The choice to become a teacher was more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. This attitude is still one I bring with me to this day.

What is the most important lesson you want students to learn in your class?

Grit. I believe students showing positive and strong character in my class, not a reflection of their skill level, is one of the more important ideas students can learn in my class. Students are sometimes intimidated by some elements of physical education, and when I can see students showing perseverance and drive, I know they are on the right path to success. Students should learn how to handle adversity and come back stronger from a loss. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process.

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

Aside from athletics and spending time with my three young children, some interests and hobbies of mine are drawing cartoons and collecting comic book figures. I recently re-ignited my collection of figures, which began with the original Star Wars trilogy figures as well as G.I. Joe, which I am a total geek for! I began drawing cartoons when I was 6 or 7 and have a multitude of drawing books which I still use to this day. I am also a fan of all Chicago food and I try to stay as active as life allows me in my early years of fatherhood.

What do you want your students to take away from having known you?

I would like my students to walk away from having known me by continuing to practice and learn the life elements they have learned in my classes. I would like their attitudes to mirror mine, which was an attitude of grit, energy, persistence, and the constant determination to become a better person. I would like them to show the same love for people I have showed them, but in their own individual ways. Passing the torch of caring, if you will.