New teacher likes hockey, teaching and America

Meet John Jacobs, a social studies teacher. Jacobs who teaches ninth grade American History, American government, and criminal justice.

An Assumption graduate, Jacobs played football and hockey in high school before moving on to attend college at St. Ambrose University, continuing his passion for hockey on the Ambrose club team.

“Although I tackled NFL player David Johnson while I played linebacker in high school, I have always liked hockey more,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs continues his love for hockey today by playing ice hockey at the I-Wireless Center, where he plays the forward position and by watching the National Hockey League.

“Hockey is a religion to me. Go Blackhawks,” said Jacobs, who has proclaimed himself the biggest Blackhawks fan in the history of the sport.

Another passion of Jacobs is the United States of America. Just walk into his room, room C367 in the social studies wing, and it is apparent by the humongous American flag proudly displayed on the wall.

“I freaking love America,” Jacobs said, while gazing upon the red and white stripes and fifty stars.

Among his love for hockey and America, Jacobs also enjoys the Netflix series Stranger Things, claiming it “‘sucks you in like a tractor beam,’” Pancheros, where he can be seen at at least twice a week, and teaching, which came as a shock to him while in college.

“I went into college thinking I wanted to be involved with criminal justice, I don't know what I wanted to be, I just knew I wanted to do something with that,” Jacobs said.

After his academic advisor advised Jacobs to take a different route for sake of employment after school, Jacobs ended up majoring in social studies and exploring the world of teaching before switching his major to secondary education.

“I did not want to teach. I was so mad I was signed up for an education class and tried to drop it multiple times before deciding I would just stick it out and pretend it never happened. I had to do 70 hours of observation at Sudlow Intermediate, and that's where the idea of teaching started to grow on me,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs went on from college to teach American History and AP American History at Assumption High School before coming to Bettendorf this year.

“I like coming here and working with the best kids, staff, faculty, parents, and administration in the state. There is a Bett culture for success, and I love being able to contribute to it. I also think it's cool I get to teach alongside my cousin, Dan VanWinkle,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs, who has had a warm welcoming by students this fall, hopes to continue the year with passion, purpose, and pride.

“My goal for the rest of the year? To be the best teacher in the social studies hallway,” Jacobs said.


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