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Thursday, May 5, 2016

New teaching intern joins A-W staff

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(Sentinel photo by Jolene Stevens) Matt Jongeling (right), new Akron-Westfield Community Schools intern industrial arts instructor, said he hopes his students feel learning is as a rewarding experience as he did as a student. Randy Kroksh (left), A-W science and technology instructor, who is the mentor for Jongeling's intern program, and Montana Jackson (center), an A-W student, take time to discuss class objectives.
Matt Jongeling was thinking of his own school days as he prepared for his early week classes at Akron-Westfield Community Schools.

He said he remembers the feelings of satisfaction that came with mastering a tough subject or special assignment.

Today, as A-W's first industrial arts intern instructor Jongeling, 28, of Sioux City, is hopeful his students will feel the same "rewards" of learning.

"Teaching, for me, has the responsibility of showing someone how to do something they'd not known about before," he said. "That's the rewarding part of the job from the instructor's standpoint."

Jongeling said he's always enjoyed making something with his hands and appreciated someone teaching him how to make things when he was in high school.

"Making and fixing things is something I've been doing a long time," Jongeling said. "My high school industrial arts classes were a part of this."

Later, as a mechanic in the U.S. Army Jongeling kept learning, he said.

More classroom opportunities to learn followed at Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC), Sioux City, where he enrolled after his military service.

He credits Tom Rozmiarek, his WITCC welding instructor with initially planting the seed for a career in industrial arts education.

His instructor knew the hands-on experience Jongeling enjoyed, and would be interested in, Jongeling said.

"It was then a matter of knowing I had the opportunity of the GI Bill for educational purposes and moving ahead," he said.

Jongeling took night classes at WITCC and worked during the day until he was laid off from his job in January 2009.

That led him to enroll at Wayne State College, in Wayne, Neb., and he will receive his bachelor of science degree in industrial technology education Dec. 14.

He currently works with 33 A-W students in grades 9-12 in the two classes he's teaching.

Jongeling said he prepares daily lesson plans for classes.

The plans include the best ways to encourage the students to apply the knowledge from their core classes into industrial arts classes, he said.

Among his own "rewards" so far as a teaching intern is the students' readiness to grasp how their understanding of the simpler things can apply to their industrial arts challenges, he said.

"This is especially true when we get into the study of auto electronics, for instance, applying the fundamentals of electricity to say getting a car engine running or how to work with ignitions or sparkplugs," Jongeling added.

He said the situation is similar when studying how to assemble something where certain measurements must be within a certain tolerance to be built properly.

There are still other "lessons" outside the textbooks he's hopeful his students can feel good about and that can be helpful later in life, Jongeling said.

"I also want to instill in the students the importance of how when they graduate they remember the importance of working hard and to get to a job on time, always putting forth their best efforts no matter what," he said.

Even if students are the best person in the class content, those other things are important in showing their responsibility, he explained.

Jongeling's internship mentor is Randy Kroksh, A-W science and technology instructor.

Kroksh said, "I see our opportunity to have an intern, Matt being our first, as something important for our program here. We've been having problems filling positions such as this with the lack of instructors available be it for industrial arts or agriculture.

"Among the reasons may be today's additional options available for college graduates and the opportunities for the graduates to be offered more money outside of teaching."

He cited companies such as Cargill or DuPont as among the potential hirers for the graduates.

"We appreciate that Matt is now a part of our intern program and available to work with our students," he added. "It helps us to pursue the educational experiences we offer our students and to see these experiences help impact the lives of our students now and in the future," Kroksh said.

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