Traveling out of his comfort zone

Mathematics, Computer Science teacher Jason Townsend reflects on traveling and career


Courtesy of Jason Townsend

Mathematics teacher Jason Townsend travels with 34 students to experience life outside of America.. “You kind of get really addicted to wanting to travel around to see it all. And I’ve probably been to 40 of the 50 states and about 20 different countries, but I would love to just keep piling on to that. It’s been a lot of fun and you’ll learn so much just about different people, different cultures, different, you know, social things, different geographic things,” Townsend said.

Outside of school, math teacher Jason Townsend can be found at the podium guiding college students at Maryville University through website and app development.

Townsend has over 22 years of high school teaching under his belt, but an adjunct professor enjoys teaching Python programming, web development, and app development for iOS devices. Teaching at a college level is much more complex than teaching the information at a high school level. Even though they hold a different level of excellence, it still requires a significant amount of responsibility that Townsend could handle.

“I first became interested in coming to Parkway West simply because I wanted to teach. I’ve always worked additional jobs outside of the classroom. I coached here for probably 15 years. I’ve always done private tutoring, and when I was a student going to college, I worked multiple jobs. I prefer [to stay extremely busy],” Townsend said.

While Townsend enjoys working additional jobs, he also likes change to keep his life interesting.

“I’d be so bored with a job that was the same thing every day with no challenges and very little activity,” Townsend said. “I love to prove somebody [if they say] I can’t do [something] I will eventually prove myself [and them] wrong.”

While Townsend enjoys staying busy with jobs, he and his wife travel when they have time off school. From 2004 to 2012, they visited 15 European countries with over 100 Parkway students.

“I know a lot of people can’t afford to travel because they don’t have time, or they can’t afford to take the whole family, but it’s always just been the two of us and our classroom kids,” Townsend said. We’ve known that was in our mindset when we got married. Our goal was to spend as much time seeing other places as we could fit in. Both of us are getting relatively close to retiring, and at that point, we’re going to open that up and try to hit everything that we haven’t seen, which is still a lot,” Townsend said.

Townsend has appreciated watching students pushing themselves out of their comfort zones by traveling overseas and academically.

“I always tell my students the things that are difficult in life are the ones that you learn from. If everything were easy, you’d never grow. And if you don’t try things that are new to you and outside of your comfort zone, you don’t progress. It’s an experience, which makes you a better person. I love what I do, so I’m willing to continue to be a teacher every single day,” Townsend said.