Guiding One GED Student at a Time

Kim Jones photo

Kim Jones knows the importance of education. A high-school dropout, Jones returned to school to receive his GED, which was soon followed by an associate's and then a master's. After working in corporate America, Jones returned to the education sector, working as a school counselor. During this role, he decided he wanted to focus more on teaching adults—as a GED instructor at Vallejo Unified and West Contra Costa Unified.


"They're asking me questions in the interview," the recently Adult Education–credentialed graduate says, "and I'm replying, 'I have total confidence I can build your course outlines,' 'I can build your curriculum for your classes,' 'I can make sure you have proper technology resources.' I could see it on their faces that they were impressed. It's all because of what I learned in Dr. Vicky Pontius' Curriculum Design and Assessment course and Dr. Robert Iler's Integrating Technology Into Education course. They really gave me the confidence to put together the course outlines, put together the curriculum, build a syllabus and do all those things that I learned in the teaching credential program. I got the tools and the support to have the confidence to do it at Berkeley—it's awesome."

On choosing UC Berkeley Extension: When I was researching programs, I kept seeing UC Berkeley Extension. I did more research—San Francisco State was an option—but I wanted Berkeley on my resume.

On his instructors: I have seen a lot of teachers. But Drs. Iler and Pontius are the most impressive teachers that I've ever seen. Dr. Pontius taught me how to make a lesson plan that can engage my students and Dr. Iler taught me how to deliver it to engage the student.

On his fellow classmates: in this program, there were a lot of people who are already teachers and were very smart in their strategies. We're all teachers, but sometimes we encounter the same barriers but in different forms, and so it's always great to hear from others. I learned a great deal from people in the program.

On future endeavors: This program expanded my ambition. I wanted to teach was one thing, but now I want to build, design the curriculum, make the course outline, run the school. I want to make a difference, and collaborate with the teachers and the community.