Brad Henry, an Oklahoma governor, said, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” This describes JT Collett. With his quiet, calm demeanor he inspires, encourages and enables students to succeed in his classes. Students know he cares about them because when they talk to him he gives them his undivided attention. He really listens. He is always willing to help others, often dropping what he is working on. He helps students ignite their imaginations as he teaches them to problem solve.
This does not mean that students have free reign to do whatever they would like in the shop. His shop is organized and safety is a priority. Because JT has established procedures for safety and equipment use, his students feel safe and confident when they are in the shop. JT is willing to work with “difficult” students often seeking out the advice and experience of other colleagues to insure that he can help these students succeed. In JT’s teaching I see a philosophy similar to that expressed by Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” JT helps find the individual genius in each of his students.
Everyone he works with says that he is always happy and positive. “JT has been a wonderful addition to our CTE team. He is a great problem solver and is always willing to help other faculty members with different things that they need,” said Bryan Gillies. Bonny Groneman mentioned that even with the new CTE curriculum he has kept his positive attitude. Ranelle Harris admires the way he’s always willing to help and accommodate others’ needs with the skills he’s developed -- from building things to carrying in groceries.” I have found these statements to be true. When I asked him to cut shower board into round whiteboards for the library tables, He was more than willing, even though cutting in a circle is not as easy as squares. He also worked with a student to make a library post for the library
Not only does JT help students and teachers with school related stuff, he is a great help at problem solving in other areas too. Evidently he can fill in as an orthodontist. When Suzie’s son Isaac had a malfunction with a wire in his braces, JT came to the rescue. After sterilizing his wire cutters, he quickly snipped off the offending wire. His uncle, John Allen, also relies on JT. He said something to the effect that he has JT’s number on speed dial because he so good at fixing things. He’s a genius with small engines.
I feel that JT exemplifies the Spirit of the Mustang because he is humble and kind and in the words of Ranelle Harris he “helps make others’ lives better.”