Teacher Tell All: JL Clayton

Chatham High’s Career Academy teacher opened up about his teaching life recently during an interview.

Mr. JL Clayton is the Career Academy teacher. “Once I got here, in 2012, I’ve always taught Career Academy,” he said. “Career Academy is a place where students can catch up.”

“I graduated from Longwood College, which is called Longwood University now, and I was in the class of 1991.”

Clayton has known he has wanted to be a teacher since he was in the eighth grade. He said, “Teaching and helping other students in the eighth grade sparked my interest in teaching. I gave them examples of how to do it when they didn’t understand. It made feel good because I could help them.”

“This is my nineteenth year of teaching.” Mr. Clayton is very passionate about his teaching job. It has always been his dream job.

“The best moments of teaching are the ‘ah-hah’ moments when they [the students] tell me that they now understand everything better.”

Teaching also comes with the worst moments, “June through July are the worst,” he said. He loves his job and dislikes the long break.

Everyone has their unique talents and Clayton’s talent sure is rare. “I can tell what you are writing by the way your pencil moves, even from a distance.”

Wisdom can be passed along to anyone at any age;

Clayton shared a quote that holds a lot of truth: “The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the smarter you grow. The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice, when speaking your mind or making your choice.”

Mr. Clayton enjoys showing off a smile while working hard.