Permenter Teacher JoLynn Maddox Tells Her Story
Tell Your Story
As Permenter Middle School teacher JoLynn Maddox digs into a closet in her classroom, it overflows with seemingly random items - a telegraph machine, hoop skirt, and chamber pot are among the most interesting finds. Before students arrive for class, she takes the telegraph machine from the closet and places it at the front of her room.
“When students enter they have a preview of what the lesson is about,” she said. “Once class starts and I begin to tell the story of that particular historical event, students are guessing how the prop fits with the story.”
By tapping into the power of storytelling, Maddox makes her lessons interactive and helps her students connect with the subject.
“I had students who graduated 10 years ago remember certain props,” Maddox said.
For the first 14 years of her teaching career, Maddox taught in elementary classrooms and made use of props often. As she moved into her current position as a middle school history teacher, she was afraid her teaching technique wouldn’t work with older students.
“The reality was they loved it,” she said.
She even has evidence that her teaching technique works with high schoolers.
Her son Dustin teaches World History at Cedar Hill High School. During his first semester teaching he didn’t use any props to help draw students into his lessons. He used them the next semester, and his students’ overall test scores increased roughly 30 percent.
“He’s been pleasantly surprised, which makes me ‘the mom’ and me ‘the teacher’ ecstatic,” she said.
Jolynn has spent her entire 29-year teaching career in Cedar Hill ISD. She completed her student teaching at High Pointe Elementary School and continued at the campus for four more years as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher. She also taught fourth graders at Waterford Oaks Elementary before landing her current position as an eighth grade social studies teacher at Permenter Middle School.
2000 CHISD Elementary Teacher of the Year
2000 Region 10 Elementary Teacher of the Year
2004 Permenter Teacher of the Year
BA in English and Elementary Education - UT Arlington