Rosa Taimanao Jones, alongside CNMI Teacher of the Year Dr. Dora Miura, was named last week as the CNMI Public School System’s Instructor of the Year. Jones has been with the Public School System as a Praxis-certified Chamorro language and heritage studies instructor since 2004.
Jones, who believes that teaching is a calling, comes from a family of educators.
Her philosophy in teaching is much like her philosophy for life. “Learning should be a meaningful experience for all students…no matter what cultural background, ability, family, and economic status. …I also encourage them to respect, accept and be open-minded to all traditions, customs, and beliefs of our diverse community, prepare them for global challenges, and master skills of becoming independent life-long learners,” she said.
In her 11 years of teaching, she has been involved in school and accreditation leadership, interscholastic sports coaching and is well known for her guidance in Chamorro language competitions at the Gregorio T. Elementary School.
Jones currently serves as an instructor at Chacha Oceanview Middle School, spearheading many activities including Cultural Heritage Month, My WAVE, and continues to coach the middle school level Academic Challenge Bowl competition and the University of Guam CHamoru poetry and oratory competitions.
Her passionate involvement in building and preserving the Chamorro language is evident in her capacity as the CCLHS learning community representative that aids in the development of lessons for grades K-12.
“As teachers, we must always be open and flexible for professional growth, be willing to make changes and learn how to use constructive criticism to better our teaching,” she said. “A teacher’s role is not limited to the classroom and to the school alone but also to the community.”
Outside the classroom, Jones is active in the Pacific Islands Bilingual Bi-Cultural Association or PIBBA, the March Against Cancer, the 2015 Agricultural and Natural Resources Month Competition, community outreach events such as food and toy drives to Karidat as well as her passion for poetry, singing, cooking, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Jones said that much of who we are is a reflection and the dedication brought into the classroom.
“Respect is the golden rule in my classroom and all students are aware and understand that expectation. I hope that everyone will come together and share the responsibility to help in the improvement of education and the promotion of language and culture. With the support of our education system, school, teachers and staff, our community, the students and parents, we will instill greatness in the lives of each student,” she said.
Jones shared a message that her former GTC principal gave, which she continues to live by. “No matter our differences, no matter the challenges we face each day, at the end of the day, we are here for our students and that is all that matters!”
To her fellow teachers, she said: “Thank you for all that you do for our students. Continue to be amazing at what you do. Even at your hardest times, remember you are appreciated and a valuable asset to your school and the system.”
To her students, “I am truly blessed to be a part of your lives. Remember that your education is the one thing no one can take away from you. Always reach for the stars and make your mark in the world.”
This year’s selection process for Teacher of the Year and Instructor of the Year started with individual schools coming up with their respective nominees. The principals then determined eligible candidates from a specific criterion and the top teachers were then chosen system-wide, with classroom observations and an interview to determine the top honoree.