JUMP-ing into History


Cameron Gratz

Jump’s flags include Florida, South Carolina, and Mississippi, as well as the universities of those states.

Wwith a history degree, new Bolles faculty member Tyler Jump said, “You can be a teacher, you can be a lawyer, or you can go work for ancestry.com. That’s about it. And so I’m obviously a teacher.”

After graduating from the University of Florida and teaching sixth grade for one year in Clay County, Jump decided he wanted to learn more about teaching, so he enrolled at Ole Miss and earned a degree in the subject. After that, he spent “two years teaching in Mississippi, in a Title I school, meaning a very, very poverty-stricken area. So I taught two years there, and I was a football coach and a baseball coach out in Mississippi.”

Jump later moved back to Jacksonville to be with his wife, teaching history at Nease as well as coaching football and weightlifting before coming to Bolles to start the sixth year of his teaching career.
From all of the different locales and environments where Jump has taught, one of the most valuable lessons he has learned is “kids are kids,” he said. “They’re the same across the board. Behavior can be different. Ages can be different. But I’ve really learned that kids are kids and they really do want to learn and it’s on teachers to set them up for success.”

The most striking aspect upon entering Jump’s classroom is the collection of flags that decorate the walls, which he began collecting in Mississippi. His classroom there “didn’t feel like a classroom. It was literally a cinderblock white wall all the way around, like white tile, and a white board. And that was it. It felt like a prison almost,” he said.

“Behavior can be different. Ages can be different, but I’ve really learned that kdis are kids and they really do want to learn and it’s on teachers to set them up for success.” – Tyler Jump

The flags, along with other decorations, help students continue learning even when they lose focus during lessons. “If you’re zoning out in my room, you’re at least going to be zoning out and looking at something that might interest you,” he said. “Like war bonds or some flag or a president, or a college or Einstein over there. Whatever it is, you’re gonna zone out and be looking at something that’s still interesting.”

Jump’s fascination with history began during his childhood, coming home from school to watch History Channel documentaries and going to art museums with his mom. He also collected baseball cards with his dad, learning about the sport’s all-time greats like Hank Aaron.
Beyond coaching sports at Nease and in Mississippi, Jump was also involved in athletics in college as a cheerleader for UF, which he called “some of the happiest times of my life.” Through cheer, he gained an appreciation for the value of being able to participate in a sport or other extracurricular activity at the collegiate level. He said he advises student-athletes to “Go all out. Try to get a scholarship… Take that opportunity.”

But if there’s one thing that has been the most valuable skill of his teaching career, it’s building relationships. “I could know the most history of any person on the planet,” he said. “But if I’m not able to make the classroom fun and build relationships with students and help them understand that learning can be fun, then it doesn’t matter how much content you know. If you can’t get kids interested in it, it doesn’t matter.”