WHERE DO YOU TEACH?
Fort Clarke Middle School
WHAT GRADE/AGE DO YOU TEACH?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A TEACHER?
This is my first year teaching, so since August 2020.
WHAT SUBJECT DO YOU TEACH?
Gifted U.S. History and Reading & Research
WHY WERE YOU INSPIRED TO TEACH?
I’ve always loved history and I never had the experience of learning history in a really fun and engaging way. Because of that, I really wanted to teach history and make it fun for students to learn it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE SCHOOL DAY?
Right before first period when I’ve finished getting ready for the day and the students start to come in for class.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ASSIGNMENT/PROJECT THAT YOU TYPICALLY ASSIGN YOUR STUDENTS?
This year, I created a “history in pop culture” assignment which compared the cabinet battle from Hamilton (the musical) to the textbook’s account of his financial plan.
HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN FROM A LONG DAY OF TEACHING?
I come home to my family and we talk about how our days went. Since I’m a new teacher, I usually have experiences to share.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF TEACHING?
Spend time with my wife, Abbie, and 5-year-old son, Benjamin. I love to watch the Colts play football, and we go to Disney whenever we can. We love to travel, but that’s been on hold for the last year and half, so we’re looking forward to being able to do that again soon hopefully.
SHARE A FUNNY TEACHING MOMENT/DAY.
I don’t have one specific moment that was particularly hilarious so far this year, but for test reviews we play Kahoot! (it’s a trivia game that I create questions for). I try to sprinkle in some funny questions. It’s also really entertaining to see how competitive the students get.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.
WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER?
Mrs. Wells, she was an amazing math teacher. I hate math and I’m really bad at it, if that tells you anything about how great of a teacher she was.
IF YOU WERE A SUPERHERO, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
HOW HAS BEING DIGITAL OR TEACHING BOTH IN PERSON AND DIGITALLY AFFECTED YOUR TEACHING STYLE? SHARE YOUR FEELINGS AND HOW DIGITAL TEACHING HAS BEEN GOING.
Digital teaching has been extremely challenging. It’s been doubly hard as a first-year teacher, because I’m already creating all of my content and materials from scratch. Doing HyFlex requires that I have to create everything in two formats, including modifying assignments for digital. It’s also been disappointing to miss out on the personal connection with some of my students who I’ve never met in person all year, and I know it’s hard for them to stay engaged when they’re sitting in front of a computer for the entire school day. It’s definitely not how I ever imagined my first year of teaching.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS SUMMER?
I’ll be spending most of the summer getting ready for next year, especially since it’s going to be much shorter than normal. However, my wife and I really like to travel, so we’re hoping to at least get one domestic trip in. Maybe Washington, DC or Las Vegas/Grand Canyon.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
SHARE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE ABOUT YOUR TEACHING JOURNEY!
Teaching was something that I always wanted to do, but life took me on a different career path initially. I never stopped wanting to teach, so I took a leap of faith (at almost 30 years old) and quit my job at Publix to go back to school to pursue teaching. I wasn’t even sure if I would get hired for this school year because of my lack of experience. Mr. Taber, the principal at Fort Clarke, called me for an interview last summer, and I was beyond excited when I was offered the job. I am so grateful to him for taking a chance on me and giving me this opportunity to pursue my dream career. I always imagined myself teaching high school, but since being at Fort Clarke, I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing now.
**Do you know a teacher who goes above and beyond for his students? An administrator who is truly devoted to making her school a better place? Giggle Magazine wants to know! Visit gigglemagazine.com to submit your favorite educator for a chance for him or her to be featured in one of our upcoming issues.