Teacher Spotlight on Mr. Carroll
Grades Taught: Academy (9-12)
Subjects Taught: English, Writing, American Literature
Years teaching: Just started first year at Telesis. Prior to Telesis, took part in student teaching program.
Years at Telesis: Just started first year at Telesis, but was substitute teacher for a portion of a semester.
Associate of Arts w/ English emphasis
Bachelor of Integrated Language Arts
Masters of Education
Advisor to Book Club and Gamer’s Club
Q. Why did you want to become a teacher?
A. When I was in high school, that’s when it really clicked for me that teaching is what I wanted to do. I had gone through different career path ideas. I wanted to go into astronomy at one point, but I discovered that takes a lot more math than I was willing to learn. I wanted to get into physical therapy at one point, but after going through an anatomy class I thought, “Yeah…that probably isn’t going to be for me either.”
I thought to myself, “What am I really good at?” Well, I was fantastic at English, I always loved reading and writing, and I loved stories so, so much. So, it pretty much clicked one day – like, hey, I like being in school, I am good at it, and I like this subject more than anything else I’ve ever done – so it seemed it just fell into place and became logical that I should become a teacher.
Q. Why do you like teaching?
A. One of the biggest things I like about it is I get to work with — we’ll call the students — the “untapped potential”. Given the ability to steer them in the right direction, they can do some truly amazing things. If you can find a way to motivate them, then teenagers are some of the most immediately responding and caring individuals you’ll ever come across. I know that a lot of people have a negative outlook on teenagers, but if they’re given the right reasons to do something and they really believe in them, they are going to be some of the greatest activists for change, they are going to be some of the greatest thinkers – they just need some sharpening, is all. And I am very happy to be a part of that process.
Q. How does the profession give back when teachers give so much?
A. I think it really comes down to students’ “a-ha!’ moments. If they have been really struggling with things, seeing that spark finally happen, where they understand something that they’ve been struggling so hard to get through – especially when you’re sharing that struggle with them every step of the way – that is definitely one way the profession gives back.
I have to say another one would have to be looking back on your day and realizing, yeah, it was really, really hard, but it is truthfully a work of love – because you have to care about what you’re doing otherwise what’s the point of it?
I can honestly say, for most teachers, you’re not just doing it for the paycheck. You’re here because you’re invested. I can look back on my day and honestly say that it was not a day wasted. I’ve met a lot of people in other private sector jobs who can’t say the same.
Q. Why do you like to teach English?
A. I like teaching English because that is really the greatest avenue of hearing other people’s stories. I’ve always had a fascination with fiction writing. I’ve always had a fascination with hearing other people’s stories from their past and what they want to do now that they’ve gotten to this point.
Through English, you can touch every single subject and that opens up an avenue to everyone’s stories, whether they be scientifically driven, whether it be stories of people long since dead, whether it be stories of the people about to go into the world. That’s honestly what drives human relationships to me – are their stories and being able to swap them – and that is very, very close to me.
Q. What’s your favorite lesson to teach within English class?
A. So far, within my experience here at Telesis, I would have to say that my favorite was teaching “theme” last year with my seniors. This is a particularly difficult bunch because, among other things, there were a lot of changes and inconsistency. But when I got a chance to teach “theme” and use a full-length movie, which is one of my favorites to explain, and so many of them understood and so many of them enjoyed it compared to other things I’ve tried teaching them, that was an incredible few days to share with them.
Q.What’s the most important thing you would like your students to take away from your class?
A. That they are capable. I think a lot of students leave certain classes, or maybe even whole grades, believing they are just terrible at something because something wasn’t taught to them that actually reached them, or maybe they received some negative feedback. As long as my students leave knowing they are fully capable, that they should never accept hopelessness, and they should never accept just being mediocre at something that they’re trying to do, then I think that is the best I can give them.
Q. What is your favorite thing about teaching at Telesis?
A. Small class size. Right off the bat, that makes so much of a difference because in my student teaching experience it was regularly a class of 30-40 kids. So, having a class size that doesn’t go over 20 students is fantastic.
Q. Who inspires you, whether it be in you professional or personal life?
A. This is going to be cliché, but it really is my fiancé. That’s because no matter how much I may want to quit at something, or no matter how hard I say something is, or even if I just want to leave it alone for a while, she is like, “No, you get back over there and you keep doing this.” She does no let me be self-deprecating and she does not let me say that I can’t do something – ever. And I love her all the more for it.