Hello! My name is Joel Sutton. I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the heartland of the United States. I attended the University of Tulsa where I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Education. I also studied Russian along the way and did a semester abroad in Zelenograd, Russia.
Today, I am teacher, though I prefer the term, professional educator, because what I do goes way being "teaching”. For the last eight years, I have been teaching at Shanghai Community International School in China. Before that, I taught for 5.5 years at Tulsa Public Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma and taught a variety of classes as an adjunct instructor at Tulsa Community College. This site is dedicated to my professional life and a few personal hobbies. I hope you enjoy it, thanks for visiting.
“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.”
Quality education goes way beyond the curriculum presented in a classroom. Knowing a concept or having a skill is certainly important, but knowing how to apply them is even more important. As such, I try to prepare my students for life, not just the assessments throughout the term. I believe in an holistic approach to education. Students need to be versatile, adaptive and multi-talented to make the most of the world today. It is that belief in diversity that has allowed me to teach so many different subjects.
My career as an educator has been wonderful and diverse! At TPS, TCC and SCIS, I have had the pleasure and fortune to teach some of the following subjects:
• MYP Design
• MYP Visual Arts
• Maths (HS & MS)
• Computer Graphic Arts
• Desktop Publishing
• Music - Percussion Ensemble
• Business Computer Concepts and Applications
Oklahoma Teacher Certifications:
• Mathematics for MS & HS
• US and Oklahoma History
• US Government
• Technology Education
Current Work Experience
MYP Design & MYP Visual Arts - 2016 – 2019
Graphic Arts & Music - 2011 – 2016
Grade 6-10 teacher. Subjects taught: MYP Design, MYP Visual Arts, photography, yearbook, computer graphic arts, visual media, desktop publishing, percussion ensemble. Additional responsibilities include: China Trip leader, Middle School House Leader, editor and designer of the SCIS Dragon News and Dragon Tales magazines, yearbook, professional development presenter, touch rugby coach, organizer for student field trips domestic and abroad, marching band assistant director, sponsor of multiple student clubs such as Photography for Fun, Scrabble Club, Select Percussion Ensemble and Movies Through iMovie.
Notable accomplishments: Organizer and sponsor of international field trips for students to Tokyo, Bali and Kuala Lumpur. Expanding SCIS’s single middle school Percussion Ensemble class to a five year - four level program with multiple alumni continuing their percussion studies into college.
"Joel has done nothing but show true professionalism in every aspect of his job, and his commitment to education and becoming an better teacher has been outstanding. . . Every school has one or two teacher leaders who drive and shape the culture of a community, and Joel is doing that for us." - Dan Kerr, Lower School Director, American School of Paris - Full Letter of Recommendation
"Joel’s multiple talents and abilities means that he is capable of teaching a wide variety of subjects, but his flexibility and willingness to tackle new projects means that he often acts as a pinch hitter to help where possible." - Jessamine Koenig, HS Principal, Hangzhou International School - Full Letter of Recommendation
"Mr. Sutton is a highly qualified, experienced, tactful, and knowledgeable practitioner of multiple pedagogic disciplines. . . His extra-curricular activities and formal school publications are exemplary." - Dr. Rocky du Randt, Head of School, Peking University Experimental School - Full Letter of Recommendation
Parents, Students & Colleagues
"THANK YOU again for all of your hard work all year long, and for all of your work with Cullen's digital media class this past semester. He absolutely LOVED your class" - Mrs. Tarasevich, parent
"I just wanted to tell you how great your Sip PD was today! Thank you thank you thank you. It was the most useful PD I've had in my 6 year career!" - Ms. V. Tolino, colleague
"Just a quick note to say again that I think that you've got a lot of awesome stuff happening in your classroom. Having all of those kids ask me for feedback was inspiring and I loved the way you were leading the questioning so as not to just tell but rather let them discover. Anyway, great stuff, thanks for all the work you do between the music department and the tech side of things!" ~ Mr. B. Olson, Vice Principal
"I believe it was in 6th grade iMedia class when I met you the first time. Then, I had Graphic Design 1 class with you the next year. I really enjoyed those technology classes with you, and I thought that I would never be able to have classes with you again. However, when I heard that you are the teacher of Desktop Publishing class, I immediately gave up my decision towards art class and I finally decided to take this class with you!" - L. Kang, student
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! You always find the time to photograph at all of our events and we are so grateful that you take the time to capture the wonderful moments of our middle school students. Thanks for all you do for us." - Kim & Brian, colleagues
"You do such an awesome work with our yearbook and the photos you take. Thanks so much.This is really special and I appreciate the enthusiasm and support you provide us all" - C. Geisen-Kisch, colleague
"Thanks so much for these pics and for being such a great leader within our music program. Danielle really enjoys your class and we hope after middle school she’ll pursue more of her talents. Thank you again for guiding her along the way and being such a great teacher." - J. Stubbs, Parent & Superintendent of Schools, SCIS
"The yearbook looks incredible!! I can't believe how detailed and complex every page is. This the most impressive yearbook I've every seen." - J. Pigott, colleague
After helping a former student through a difficult moment in her life, she wrote me saying "...coming from you, someone I've always respected and admired, means a lot. Its been five years and I still expect/respect your teachings.... Thank you Mr. Sutton" - Mitchell, student
A few years back, I hosted a lady from www.couchsurfing.org. I asked "how are you", to which she replied "Trying to be as perfectly imperfect as possible." That statement had a profound impact on me and I've adopted it as my own.