What made you want to become a teacher? I had an aunt who was a teacher and a number of older cousins that became teachers, so I grew up in a family of teachers. I was interested in teaching from a young age and knew that was what I wanted to do when I was in high school.
Was there a teacher growing up that inspired you, and why? The principal in my elementary school had a big impact on me and he also taught my eighth grade Algebra class. I grew up in a larger Lutheran school, but the principal was very personable and caring and got to know my family. He became a close family friend. I have always loved how family-oriented Lutheran schools are.
What do you especially like teaching within your subject? I love teaching novels and teaching the students about emotion and character. In terms of books, I like teaching To Kill a Mockingbird and The Hobbit.
What did you miss the most about teaching in person during the stay-at-home order? I missed being with the students. It’s hard to identify what the students are struggling with and know how to help them through things over a video call. There’s a lot more you can sense in the classroom than over Zoom.
I also miss coaching and being involved with the school sports. I took over as the Athletic Director at St. John’s during the 2019/2020 school year, and I coach seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball. I miss the community and family aspect of school sports.
What are you most looking forward to at the start of the school year? I am most looking forward to being with the students. I am a more introverted person with adults, but I’ve always found it easy to talk to and be with middle schoolers.
What is the best advice you’ve received about teaching? I grew up around teachers so I learned a lot about teaching through my family members. During my first year of teaching, I went to a district event with my principal from my elementary school, and I was telling him how hard the first year was. His advice has always stuck with me. He said that teaching is always going to have it’s challenges and the first year is the most difficult. It was good for me to commiserate with someone who had been teaching for so many years. I learned that you have to stick with teaching if you really want to do it. It’s a difficult profession but if it’s your calling, it will be worth it.
What do you like about St. John’s? I love the community that St. John’s has provided for my family. My own children attend the school and my wife leads PTL, so St. John’s really feels like a home to us. As a teacher, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the families of my students. Coaching sports has also provided an amazing sense of community for me with the students.