Teacher in Focus: Jud Baker
by Celia Shortt
Jud Baker teaches physical education at Elm Street Elementary School. This year is his sixth teaching and his second at Elm Street. He also heads up the running club at Elm Street, as well as tutoring fifth grade math.
Why did you become a teacher?
I didn’t decide until halfway through college. Lots of my family members are teachers. I knew it would be a job with a steady income and opportunities.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
It’s different from day to day. Kids are different from day to day. It keeps me on my toes.
What is the best part about being at Elm Street Elementary?
Elm Street is an inviting place for everybody - teachers want to be here, kids feel they are welcome. I think parents feel invited to be here. This place puts off a positive vibe that I haven’t see in any other schools.
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be doing?
No idea. I like to do woodworking projects, but I couldn’t make a career out of it. I love building things and working outside.
Do you have a family?
My wife Melissa teaches at Poplar Road. We have two children - a daughter who is two years old and a baby boy.
What do you when you’re not teaching?
Right now, most of my time is spent with my family. I spend a lot of time at my church, Heatherwood Baptist Church. I like camping, hunting, and being outside.
What is the one thing you hope your students learn in your class?
To be able to enjoy physical activity at an early age. There are too many kids who don’t enjoy physical activities. I try different activities to peak their interest now. I introduce lots of things to kids so they can try them, and I teach them about healthy choices now. I think it will be a positive influence for the rest of their life.