Haven’t You Always Been a Teacher?

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Robert Bach stands next to pictures of his past.

Harper Gould, Journalist

The qualities of a great teacher are not always simply the product of a teaching degree. “Employees are more than numbers…Students are way more than test scores, numbers, and grades,” says Dallas Myers, OHS Drama Teacher. He learned this through his experience as a manager at Costco where he worked for 12 years. 

Skip Fabritius, Personal Finance Teacher, worked roughly 40 hours a week while attending high school. He held down several jobs, and at one point was working from 3-11 PM at a tanning salon before heading to his second job at an accounting firm where he stayed until 1 AM. “It gave me a respect for some kids and the amount of time they devote outside of school for work, athletics, and activities” Fabritius claims.

OHS AP English Teacher Robert Bach’s skills were partially developed during his attendance at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and partially during his time spent at Camp David. “I was one of the very very few people that actually lived on this top secret compound,” states Bach. During his time at Camp David, Bach quickly moved up the ranks and eventually became the commander of a SWOT team, responding to confidential incidents and breaches of the perimeter. While this position seems drastically different from teaching, “my ability to communicate clearly, discipline, and the confidence of leadership” were all important teacher qualities developed by Bach during this time in his life.

Other teachers developed their knowledge and skill, by practicing the things that they teach. Taeler Shelton, the sports medicine teacher,  has worked extensively with collegiate and premier teams as an athletic trainer. Shelton traveled as an athletic trainer with the University of Idaho football team to the Humanitarian Bowl of 2009 where the team had one of the best college football comebacks of all time. 

Shelton currently works with the Seattle Sounders Academy teams. “If I covered a tournament over the weekend, I will then share that with my sports medicine class” says Shelton. She is able to incorporate her experiences in the real world of sports medicine into her teaching and give more specific and meaningful examples to her students.

“I loved what I did but it wasn’t super fulfilling emotionally,” Myers explains about his transition from Costco to drama teacher. Myers even took a pay cut when he first stepped down from Costco and decided to pursue teaching. For Bach, the decision wasn’t so much of a choice, as he catastrophically injured his knee and it seemed his security career was over. Bach describes it as being, “A matter of interesting circumstances.” The choice to switch careers is a different story for each teacher.