Tarrell Jones, also known as TJ, has a special talent of making you smile. He has a bright and bubbly personality that continues to stay with you throughout the day. He is a proud first grader at Toomer Elementary School this year, where he transitioned from special education to the general classroom. He attends class daily with the help of a special educator, but strives to do most activities on his own. “He is the sunshine of our classroom when he comes in the morning. He always has a bright smile, and he always wants to participate in everything we do, academically and physically,” says his teacher, Ms. Ringer. When asked what he enjoys most about school, he responds with “everything in first grade, not kindergarten… because it’s awesome.”
Tarrell is loved and acknowledged in the school for his humor, energy, and the joy he brings to those around him. He is a very confident and does not let his physical limitations hold him back from regular activities. He enjoys being active in the playground, as he interacts with friends and often rides the slide with his teacher. In fact, Tarrell’s favorite class is PE, where he participates in various sports. “I love playing basketball, and tennis, and dodgeball, and baseball… and only a little bit of football,” TJ says. In addition to sports, TJ loves spending time on the computer, especially typing, youtube, and games.
One special memory that Ms. Ringer has of TJ is when the class was learning about different cultures around the world. Ms. Ringer shared videos of different dance cultures, and asked students to demonstrate them in front of the class. TJ volunteered and performed his version of a Hawaiian dance, and simply blew everyone away. The whole class was entertained as TJ danced his heart out and even teachers down the hallway came in to watch him. “It was a sight to see,” Ms. Ringer says, “and I think that made his day, because he kept on dancing all day throughout the hall.”
TJ has a great presence in the classroom, and is very intelligent. He works very hard in his studies, as he pushes himself to excel. Ms. Ringer sees a bright future for TJ as she says, “Physically, Tarrell may be challenged. However, academically, what a bright and shining star he is and will be in his academic career.” TJ is a special student that you must meet in person. He is a joy to be around and has a great energy that spreads to everyone around him.