Teacher Tuesday with Jack Givens

Carroll HS Special Education Teacher Jack Givens shares his story
Posted on 03/14/2023
Mr. Givens working with a student

Jack Givens is an emotional disabilities (ED) teacher for Carroll High School. He will quickly tell you how he has loved his job the past couple years partly because he has his handprint on this new program for Carroll that started in fall 2021.

“My favorite thing about my job is the ways in which I get to see students who have grown,” said Givens. “It is so cool to see a student, who, in their freshman year lays on the floor or a desk and refuses to do any work and gets all Fs grow, mature and learn more about emotions and behavior and improve their grades to As, Bs, and Cs their sophomore year.”

Jack loves his job and he cares that not many people understand students with emotional disabilities. He believes that God put him in a position to be an advocate for the students who cannot do it themselves. Daily he gets the chance to help these students show their true colors and shine in ways that few people would think were possible.

His hope is that others develop an understanding that students with emotional disabilities are just like you and me. As he puts it, “They just have some extra ‘stuff’ in their lives that makes some days harder than others.” Jack goes on to explain, “These students don’t like to curse at teachers or belittle people, they either don’t know how, or they are feeling so much anger, hurt, and trauma that they don’t know any other way to communicate. Part of my job is to help teach them how to have positive relationships and grow not just as students in the classroom, but as people in the community.”

He is extremely motivated to come to work because he wants to help give students with ED more skills that are usable beyond high school. He understands that they experience difficult times, and he earnestly wants to be there to support them. “I may not always have experienced the things that they have, but I work to understand them because not everyone else does,” Givens said. “God has blessed me with an opportunity to impact these students' lives in a positive way, and I go into work every day with this in mind.” 

Besides his dedicated work in the classroom, Jack continues helping students understand themselves better on the field, too. Givens is on the coaching staff for Carroll’s football program. He likens coaching to teaching in the ED classroom, and he even suggests that they go together.

"When I am on the football field, I am working to motivate the players, create relationships, teach plays, and be a mentor. The classroom works the exact same way. Oftentimes I am motivating my students to push through a difficult task or telling them that they are strong enough to overcome their obstacles. Relationship building happens on the daily in my classroom as well. When days are slow and my students need to burn some energy, we may go to the basketball courts, play a card game, or play other games in my classroom.”

Something that is always on his mind is that every person is different. When one of his students is having a bad day, he works to understand them and help them work through and talk about what is going on. He finds coaching football is similar.

“Our students all come from different backgrounds and have different needs,” Givens said. “When I see players not acting themselves, I make it a point to reach out to them to see how they are doing and offer to talk through what is going on. I always work to understand my students and players the same way.

I have always felt that God’s purpose for me is to help students and be a mentor for them in the good and bad moments. With coaching football and being the emotional disabilities teacher for Carroll High School, I feel that I really do get to live out God’s purpose for my life.”

If you have a heart for children and helping others, consider joining our team. Find job openings at: https://www.nacs.k12.in.us/employment.