Prompt: What inspired you to be a Teacher/Educator?

Honestly, I was sitting the Throttleman watch on my first boat poking holes on mission somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea and I made the decision that the Navy was not a long-term option for me. So I gave it a lot of time on that 6-hour watch about “What do I want to do in my life” and when it came down to it, I decided that I wanted to coach football. I was a pretty junior “Nuke” (my position/job in the Navy) so I wasn’t really respected for anything I did at the time Navy-wise, but people did seem to respect my knowledge of football. And, after all, I did take to it more as a student of the game than an athlete, because I was never really that physically talented anyway.

So, I thought, well, what would be my fastest means to be a football coach and, of course, it meant that I would have to be a Public School Teacher first, then just rise up through the coaching ranks in the schools. So when I made the decision to be a Teacher, I thought, what subject would I like to Teach, and as I had always liked my Science classes in school, I decided to be a Science Teacher.

Three plus years later, I got out of the Navy and started college singularly focused on being a Science Teacher for the sole purpose to coach football. It took 5 total years to earn my Biology Degree, and then another 2 years on top of that to get my Secondary Teacher Certification. Then I got my first position taking over for a Teacher who ran out the front door in a nervous breakdown at Lincoln High School (see my other blog post). As that school year went on I guess you could say that my heart got into it and I realized that I had a real position of influence to be able to actually help these kids, most of whom reminded me of the same kids that I had as friends growing up. And when I made the decision to use the platform of Science to also teach Leadership and proper decision-making, which is what these kids REALLY needed in life, any concepts in my mind to spend scarce time as a football coach seemed to have less and less meaning.

So, I never got around to that football coaching thing after all, but there is no loss there. I know I did my best and left everything I had for those kids and that community. And I’m okay with that.


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