How long have you been teaching in general?
I have been teaching since 1999 which I think this is my 17th year.
What made you want to start teaching?
I was a business major in college and I didn't really want to go into business. At first I wanted to be a science teacher but I didn't like chemistry so I went back to business an I was told to be a business teacher- which I didn't even know there was such a thing as a business teacher but that's how I got switched to business and I thought that would be a nice combination and I already had all of my business classes.
Was there a different job that you wanted to do when you were younger?
Yes, I wanted to be a like a National Park type person that works at National Parks. Like a ranger or whatever you called that because I just liked being in the outdoors and that's why I kinda wanted to be a science teacher because I like outdoorsy type stuff. But I didn't do that so...
In your time teaching at JCHS what would you say has been the most challenging part of your teaching career?
There's tons of challenges; the biggest challenge probably is oh... just with teaching is trying to manage all the other stuff we have to do besides teaching. Like the meetings and all that stuff and extra things. With students it's probably... attendance. And that's probably the number one reason students fail is because they aren't in the class so.. There's lots of other challenges but those two are the only ones that are coming to my mind.
How have your expectations of your students changed from your first year of teaching to today?
Oh um... when you first start teaching or any job after you have done it for 10/ 15 years you realize how bad you were at the beginning when you thought you might have been good. And I still don’t think I'm that good but you really learn a lot as you go, especially with teaching. Teaching can never be perfect for everybody and that's the hardest part. Or maybe a lot of other jobs you can do it a certain way and have it perfect but you can not do that with teaching. It's a science meaning- I mean it's an art more than a science. A science is something that you know for sure can do a certain way and it works every time but teaching can not be set that way. That kinda makes it fun but then it kinda makes it hard. Dealing with classroom management is the biggest thing that's hardest to figure out and um I'm still learning everyday or every year I think, "Oh, I've figured it out" and then 5, 2, 3 years later I go "Oh I was way wrong" and so.. I know this is a long answer but basically this is a career that you have to keep learning all the time and you never really have it figured out.
Is it because the students are always constantly changing?
They've changed a little bit but not much. The students haven't changed much. Now dealing with cellphones and stuff has changed but that's.. That's not as big a deal um most older... I shouldn't say older but the older generation say "Oh the kids these days are bad" but that's not hasn't changed in 19 or 17 years. The students haven't changed much. Some of the things that do have changed a little bit I don’t think they changed much. I think attendance has been the same problems since I've been here. Little things like technology use and stuff like that has changed some but it's just different behavior not really have changed.
Do you believe that the school puts more stress or focus on sports than academics?
Oh yeah definitely. I don't know that they put more stress on it but they spend a lot of resources and time and money on athletics. Some of that is good though because its shown that students that are involved in something do better academically. It doesn't have to be athletics it can be anything. But of the students involved in something else they do better with their academics. I think because they care more about school um... there's probably a pretty good balance when most sports that it isn’t overwhelmingly.
Did you have a particular favorite subject?
No I don’t really- like I said earlier I like science a lot. The classes I teach weren't an option when I was in High School, they didn't exist. I think I would have liked it- obviously. But, The stuff I teach didn't have an option so um... I did like stuff where you used your hands. Now I think it's a little different. I liked P.E classes a lot and um science I liked. I wasn't the biggest fan of math and English but I kinda went through them like everyone else so..
Were there any subjects that you disliked?
I didn't dislike a lot of them. The hard math classes were bad I mean I was a typical High School boy, I didn't have much focus. Most boys don't so I didn't put a lot of effort into it probably to get much out of it but um.. Yeah I'm trying to think of anything hated- I can't think of anything I hated but I wasn't the biggest math fan probably.
How was High School for you different from then to now?
It's just technology has changed so much like back then we didn't have cell phones. If you wanted to talk to somebody you had to pass a note and that's a huge change. Now students can talk and get any information they want in two seconds. We didn't have that, we didn't have Google. We couldn't just say "What's the capitol of Paraguay?", and know. We had to look in a book and that's the biggest change in technology. And there was a time when we used to make fun of people with cellphone they had to be super, super rich and now everyone has it. So that was the biggest change. I think behavior- teenagers will always be teenagers. They are going to do things that they probably shouldn't and they're gonna test the boundaries of things so I honestly don’t think things have changed that much. Schools haven't changed either I think there has been some transitions but I think it has a lot to do with technology for the most part which is good and bad. Sometimes it's good to do things the long and hard way because it really appreciates you the easy way. If you always get shown the easy way to do things you never.. You will never fortitude to do something the hard way. So I think that's kinda a bad thing and that some things are so easy to do like learning how to.. Using a type-writer to write is a pain in the butt but it made you a really good typer because then you didn't mess up because then you had to have white-out in order to fix it. With the computer you can fix something so easily and you can copy and paste text so easily it's almost too easy but you can't go back in time but that's probably something that with technology has gotten easiler to do. But maybe that's good because it makes it eaier for you to focus on the learning instead of the typing so
What's your opinion of schools putting their students in uniforms?
I personally would like uniforms.
Why do you think that?
Just because I would not have to think about what I'm gonna have to wear in the morning. I would rather be told,”Where this.” Then I know I'm good. I know students wouldn't probably like uniforms- immediately they wouldn't like it. But self consciously they might and have to know that I already know what I'm gonna be wearing today, I've got it covered, I just have to wear this uniform. Um I think students or teenagers especially would say they want that self expression or freedom and I agree- I see that, I see both sides. It would solve a lot of problems; like I mentioned it would take care of not knowing what you're gonna have to wear but um if everybody's dressed the same, and looks the same…. it's bad on the that nobody will have individuality but it's good on the side that everybody kinda gets treated the same that means. Like maybe cliches don't exist because students don't say “Oh they're wearing the right clothes, I can be friends with them, um those girls have the right whatever on and like their cool or they have a lot of money so they can buy that kind of stuff or they're wearing those shoes so they have money… When everybody is wearing the same thing there's no dividing lines about who has a certain wealth or a certain class. And that's a really good thing that way everybody is on the same level playing field and um there's always time for after school time to wear your own clothes but if.. honestly like I said in the beginning, it's probably not.. the teenagers wouldn't agree with me upfront but I think uniforms are probably a good thing in school for the reasons I mentioned. It kinda takes away all classes of especially social and economic classes so everybody is equal. And plus it'll solve all the dress code problems we have.
If you could give the whole school a message or advice what would it be?
My advice to anybody is... you only live once. Take good care of that. With that in mind think about what you want to do with your life and do it. You have to have fun and the most important thing is that if your not having fun why do it? Make decisions that will benefit your whole life. Especially when it comes to education and getting a job. A lot of high school students start to make decisions that effect their whole lives and then they realize when they turn 30 or 40 or 50 years old that oh man I wish that I had made a few different decisions when I was 18 or 17 and I would have had a whole different life. So I guess that's a long answer but basically I mean… have fun and make decisions that aren't gonna effect your whole life negatively. Think about the future because hopefully your gonna live a long time and you might make a decision that'll effect your whole life when you're 17 yeas old which isn't fair but it happens
Are there any banned books that you think shouldn't be banned?
I don't know much about banned books. Yeah I don't see the need for banning books, unless they’re just vulgar. Now there's an appropriate time to learn or read a book, I don't ever really see the need to ban a book. Like I said unless it's vulgar like um I think they talked about burnt banning um… where um… why cage bird sang or one of those books like that and I don't I'll be honest read a lot of books like that anyways I mostly read technical stuff, I read a lot of articles and stuff but I don't read a lot of books and I probably should. But um I don't, I don't see the real problem or purpose of banning a book of what's inside of it scares you it's better to learn from it than ban it.
What should be the punishment for cyberbullies?
The same punishment for every type of bully um cyber bullying is probably one of the worst than other bullying though. It is… I don't know how to say it but it… it's something you can't get away from. Where when I was a kid if you got bullied you just went away from it and you didn't need to worry about that other person. Ever. Um with social media you can't get away from bullying, if someone wants to bully somebody it's very easy to do through social means on the um over the network. Um I don't know what the punishment is.. it's really got to be more preventive and awareness and stop from that end rather than to or I mean you obviously have to punish for if you they are continuously because it really really hurts people especially young people if their brains and they're still developing they really take it harshly. When you're an adult you can handle it, you can move on with your life. But I'm not sure what the punishment is other than awareness and preventative measures ahead of time um in order to prevent it so..