The Register

Lessons before teaching

Conner Necessary, Reporter

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Contrary to what most students think, teachers have a lot of things going on in their lives and some teachers have been in other lines of work before becoming a teacher. “I feel like a lot of times my classmates forget that our teachers have lives and have many experiences that they can share with us to teach us not to make the same mistakes they have made,” junior Mason Brewer said. Some teachers such as English teacher Brian Bennett and Bio-med teacher Heidi Hisrich didn’t always know that they wanted to be a teacher. “I worked as a newspaper reporter in Columbus, Indiana for four years,” Bennett said. “I mostly worked in sports. The paper was called The Columbus Republic.” The lifestyle as a journalist is very different than one of a teacher and Bennett mentioned a few things that he enjoyed about being a journalist. “I was able to meet a lot of interesting people and work as a sort of storyteller,” Bennett said. “I also worked with some really great people who are friends to this day and I even made Peyton Manning so mad he glared at me and nearly cut a press conference short because of a question I asked him.” Before Hisrich decided to go into teaching she was involved in an environmental group in Ohio. “I was the Clean Air Campaign Coordinator for the Ohio Environmental Council, a non-profit environmental group,” Hisrich said. “I hated the job. I thought I could make a difference, but it ended up feeling like I was spinning my wheels, writing lots of grant proposals and grant reports, but ultimately accomplishing nothing.” Hearing these stories can change the outlook a student has on a teacher and allow for a better relationship and understanding between the two. “I remember in middle school when my science teacher would tell me stories about what he did before he became a teacher and it always came off as unbelievable to me because he seemed like just a teacher until I got to know more about his life before teaching,” senior Ben Chaney said. “Being closer and getting to know more about the person teaching you helps you relate to them more rather than putting them on a pedestal and treating them like they are exclusively teachers.” Some students whose parents are teachers see a different story. “My dad tells my friends and I stories all the time about his life before he got into teaching, a lot of my friends who had him in class look at him in a different perspective than they did before,” Brewer said. Having a career prior to becoming a teacher can be really helpful and can allow teachers to apply lessons that they have learned from that career into teaching. “The biggest lessons came in terms of professionalism,” Bennett said. “No matter what I wrote, people were going to be upset in some way. Every day and every story were a little different. I learned to not worry about things that people said and to focus on being my best. I do that in learned that if I respected what I was doing, I would be successful.” By working for the environmental group and learning how to write grants, Hisrich has made use of that knowledge for teaching. “I’ve written grants as a teacher successfully,” Hisrich said. “I helped my first school get $17,500 and become a NASA Explorer School. I also wrote a grant to get $8,000 for a Teacher Creativity Project exploring Green Urbanism in Europe.”

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Lessons before teaching