Washington Family Magazine : August 2017
22 August 2017 washingtonFAMILY.com TEACHERS OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY: What originally got you interested in teaching? My mom is one of nine children and therefore, I had a lot of cousins growing up. Despite being one of the oldest cousins, I still had to sit at the kiddie table during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I was counted on to organize games for all of us to play day-after-day, and had no choice but to develop the necessary patience to deal with any craziness that might ensue. Most importantly, I learned how to listen and respect people through these experiences with my cousins and my siblings. And I also came to realize that I have a gift for working with children and making sure they feel like they belong and serve a purpose in this world. So, I thank my cousins and siblings for showing me my purpose in life, and getting me interested in teaching. Why do you think teachers are important? As a Catholic school teacher, my number one responsibility is preparing my students for Heaven and sainthood. Forming souls, developing moral character and cultivating good citizens are the most important aspects of my job. Motivating students to achieve academically and striving to equip them with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century job market is also a crucial aspect of teaching. But there isn’t a treasure on Earth that even comes remotely close to the treasure that awaits us in Heaven. What’s your funniest teaching moment? I think my funniest moments come from coaching basketball and volleyball. When JV players hit their first serve over the net during competition and the whole team celebrates like they just won the Olympics; that makes me laugh and smile. Or, when young basketball players rip down a defensive rebound but then shoot and score for the other team, which inevitably happens every season; I can’t help but laugh. What is the single best piece of advice you can give parents of middle schoolers? Love your children unconditionally and be merciful. What makes you excited to go into your school each day? Knowing there will be someone who needs to be lifted up and hoping I canbetheonetodothe lifting. What advice would you give to aspiring teachers? Be vulnerable and authentic. It’s OK if you don’t have the answers to every question or if the lesson plan you thought was amazing fell flat on its face. Your students won’t remember that failed lesson plan, but they will always remember how you made them feel about themselves and their potential. The old adage that “students won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” is true. So, seek value in your students, show them that they matter to you and be there for them when they need you. JASON OILER “Mr. Oiler not only teaches language arts, but he also coaches the school’s basketball and volleyball teams. He offers great encouragement to his students and is very patient and kind. Everyone loves him. Mr. Oiler is very well respected by his students and peers. He is selfless, and gives much of his personal time and energy to his students.” MIDDLE SCHOOL READING AND LAN- GUAGE ARTS TEACHER AT HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN DALE CITY, VA NOMINATED BY: GLORIA D.