Landen: What is it like being a teacher? Is it fun, exciting, stressful?
Teacher: The job can be stressful and can be fun. In my mind, the job part of it is knowing your subject area that you are teaching so you can effectively convey the materials to students in the way they understand. The fun part is how you go about that. I’m almost at 30 years of teaching now and I kinda look forward to it, getting up, coming to school, interacting with the students. It’s fun.
L: What is your style of teaching?
T: My style of teaching is… um after doing some neuro studies of how the adolescent brain works, you gotta make it fun. So I try to make every student in the class enjoy it, interact with every kid, and make sure that they know they’re part of a group. Some kids I can push it a little bit further and joke around with them. But I know most of all, making them care about their education is the big thing.
L: How do you think you could be a better teacher?
T: I have a curriculum to teach so there’s kind of a sequence I have to follow, certain things I have to do during the year. With Social Studies, I try to stay on top of current events and making the students aware of what’s going on in the world around them and aware of what has happened in the past as well.
L: Why did you choose to be a Social Studies teacher?
T: Originally I taught Science at the middle school level. I loved teaching science because it was so interactive and hands on. I taught in that school for ten years and then there was a job opening back to my home community and the position was primarily Social Studies, so it was a choice. The fun part about it is that social studies changes every day because the world is evolving and you can have discussions about that and incorporate hands-on activities into it like science. I couldn’t teach Math, couldn’t teach English, too regimented. I like to be loose with the educational piece.
L: How long have you wanted to be a teacher?
T: I think it was like third or fourth grade. I had Mrs West and I remember—and it’s kinda weird that I remember this—but I told her that I was gonna be a teacher someday when I grew up and I don’t know if I was just sucking up to her or what I was doing (chuckles) but it stuck with me. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I wanted to be an electrician, all my brothers are electricians, my dad’s an electrician. Senior year in high school my parents decided I was going to college, so I did and chose education as a major. And again it’s worked out wonderful.
L: Has being a teacher affected your family life? If so, how?
T: I’ve had three of my daughters go through the middle school when I taught there, so it kinda incorporated into my life. And at this school, I know all of my youngest daughter’s friends and her friends all know me, so it’s kinda a cool thing. Having coached athletics my whole career for thirty years and the time involved in that commitment to a team can take time away, but it worked for the family. And being an Athletic Director now too I’m away quite a bit but my wife will come to watch a game or whatever. My family likes athletics so it doesn’t interfere.
L: That is it, thank you very much.
T: You’re welcome very much! Have a great day!
Try Your Own Interview
Is there a career you find interesting or someone you know who you could ask questions about their job? Why not do an interview with them and learn more about what they do? You could even submit it to B! for a chance to have it published!