Joe Jividen

joe jividen

Joe Jividen

Middle School / Director of Communications

Growing up, who was your most inspirational teacher and why?

I’ll never forget the impact Mr. Dennis Hon had on me. I was never a strong enough math student to take his calculus classes, but when I was failing Algebra in my sophomore year, he approached me. He offered to tutor me at 7 am every morning. The only thing he asked was that I show up on time and ready to work. In one semester’s time, Mr. Hon helped me to improve my grade by more than two full letter grades. More importantly than that, he showed me the importance of helping others when I have the resources to do so. He had no obligation and expected nothing in return, but he embodied the generosity that many teachers aspire to.

If you weren’t teaching, what career would you have chosen?

Those who know me beyond the classroom already have a pretty good idea that I would be a real life Leo McGarry. There’s something so appealing about being “the man behind the curtain.” Even though I am not in politics, I still do my best to employ “take out the trash day” whenever applicable.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement as a teacher so far?

Nothing yet, but I know I have a shot at accomplishing something in my second decade of teaching.

What are some of the most important life skills you hope to instill in your students?

I hope my students understand that no matter how young they are, that they have agency at their school, in their community, and any other organization to which they belong. In order to feel this ownership, I hope to instill self confidence, collaboration, empathy, and grit.