Dr. Jasper Faulkner’s eyes shine a little brighter when he talks about his time as a teacher. The Rosa native has immersed himself in education for decades whether that be teaching students or attending classes himself. Now, even after retirement, Faulkner is presenting a slideshow to educate the Blount County community on Peru.
The 106-slide presentation will take place on Thursday, April 25, in the Blount County Memorial Museum. Two showings will be held, one at 1 p.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m., with the price of admission set at $4 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. The revenue will go toward a small fund for museum building expenses aimed to benefit expansion.
“I would like to teach Blount County something about another country,” Faulkner said. “And Peru is like no other country I have ever visited.”
Faulkner’s travels give him the right to say such things about the world. He and his late wife, Eleanor, began traveling after Faulkner retired. A small list of countries visited by the couple include, China, New Zealand, Brazil, all the European countries, and 13 cruises including one to the Virgin Islands and another across the Mediterranean Sea.
During his presentation, Faulkner plans to discuss multiple aspects of Peru, modern and historical, including cooking, plants, animals, terrain, and the Peruvian culture. All pictures included in the slideshow were taken by Faulkner’s son, David, who lived in Lima, Peru, with his wife and served as an economic ambassador for the State Department.
Faulkner began his teaching career after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College, and additional degrees from The University of Alabama. He served as principal of 12 schools, taught at four others, and spent time as an adjunct professor at Samford University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
During his career, Faulkner spent time in Blount County teaching and working as the principal at Mountain Grove School and Sterling School, however, those schools have since closed. Faulkner says he has also conducted seminars all over the country.
He not only has a doctorate in education, but also majored in psychology and history during college.
“At that time, I could have been a psychologist,” Faulkner said. “But, I was teaching and didn’t have time. Besides, it was hard to make a living in that profession back in those days.”
It is clear in the way he talks about the students he taught that a job in psychology was on the back burner.
During his days as a high school teacher, Faulkner gave essay tests, a foreign concept to his students.
“Those papers were horrible,” he said. “Yet they were coming from some of the best students who were wonderful and smart. I just don’t believe multiple choice or true/false tests get the job done, and that’s what they were used to.”
Faulkner says his teaching approach did lead to positive feedback, however.
While talking to a school counselor at a school where he taught, she told him about a former student of his who was excelling compared to her past accomplishments.
“I asked her why she went from being a C/D student to making all A’s and B’s,” the counselor said. “And she told me that Dr. Faulkner had taught her how to learn.”
Faulkner was thrilled.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better compliment than that,” he said.