For this week's feature the teacher, the journalism class interviewed Mrs. Vezina, the 6th grade Language Arts teacher. Mrs. Vezina started teaching at this amazing school 29 years ago. She had the privilege of working in all three of our buildings, teaching grades ranging from 2nd to 8th grades. When asked what made her want to become a teacher, she answered was, "I always wanted to work with children in some capacity". She said that she had teachers that encouraged, challenged, and believed in her. Those teachers for her included a 4th grade teacher, her middle school through high school band teacher, and her track coach. She was also asked if she thought life outside of school could affect a students abilities in the classroom. She replied that, "That is a very good question, and I do believe a student's life outside of school can affect their learning positively or negatively". Mrs. Vezina said that student who read for enjoyment, contribute to their families through chores/responsibilities, and participate in healthy extra-curricular activities tend to be more disciplined, focused and rested. They not only gain skills and talents, but this also increases their social and emotional skills, while focusing on the needs of others. She also added that those students who enjoy gaming to the excess and/or an active on social media tend to be less focused, tired and struggle to manage time in the classroom well. Their social interactions tend to be a little rocky as well. When asked what her biggest surprise was while she was teaching, she said, "My biggest surprise was the level of talent that students show and have or have had over the years." She stated that so many of her 6th graders are extremely creative, musical, athletic, and artistic. She expects to see this as students get older and have an opportunity to develop their skills. The level at which many of her students perform truly does surprise her. She thinks that they are very impressive with how much work they show.
For feature the teacher this week we are featuring Mr. Vanderbeck. He has taught for 15 years, teaching American history, journalism, and science as his favorite subjects. Mr. Vanderbeck says that in his free time he enjoys "vegetating". His explanation is that when he was our age vegetating was very cool, but now his vegetation time is interrupted by his teaching. He has a son and four grandchildren while his wife has a ton of kids and grandkids. His main piece of advice for any students is to take advantage of school and use your time to learn so that you can be more successful tomorrow. Mr. Vanderbeck was also in the military. He came from a military family, so he was pretty set up for a military career. He spent 20 years in the army which meant that he traveled a lot! He got to go some places that most Americans wouldn't dream of and experience sights, sounds, and smells that were so different from America. This also meant he had to move a lot, which was hard on his family, but he got through it. He has been put in a position where hundreds of people were under his command and welfare twice not to mention millions of dollars of equipment. He has had many amazing and scary experiences, such as even jumping out of a plane. These experiences are why he is such an amazing history teacher.
Alec maslowski is a 14 year old eighth grader that goes to Lockwood Middle School. "Mr.Vanderbeck changed my life." Alec said, "He believes in me.". In spite of having a rough life at home, Alec, lives with his grandparents because his dad left before he was born, and his mom has a lot of problems, he comes to school with a smile almost every day. Alec has a positive attitude and spreads that joy to others. He is grateful that he has supporting adults in his life like Mr. Vanderbeck and his grandparents. Alec does not play many sports, except basketball. I am fortunate to be his friend and have the opportunity to learn from him and he helps me see that , "the glass is half full".