In this series, we sit down with our teachers and ask them about their experiences teaching at BASIS Independent Fremont, what motivates them, and some other fun questions. Today we talk with Coach Andy, our Physical Education Teacher.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching at BASIS Independent Fremont?
I love the fact that I get to spend so much time with students, both in class, and in recess and after school. There are some truly incredible students at BASIS Independent Fremont and what I enjoy the most about teaching here is getting to know students on an individual level and making connections with as many kids as I can!
What do you hope students take away from your classes?
I am very passionate about fitness and sports and I want to pass that along to our students. Children are much more likely to grow up fit and healthy if they actually enjoy exercise, and I want students take away from my class the same love of staying fit that I have!
Can you think of a memorable anecdote from teaching at BASIS Independent Fremont?
Getting to take our older students to Lake Elizabeth to run a mile was such a blast! After weeks of weather delays, we were had two consecutive bright, sunny days for our kids to go run for the Presidential Fitness testing. Per usual, the students truly impressed me with their efforts and I could see pure determination on their faces as they tried to get the fastest times they could! Overall it was a fantastic experience and I look forward to the next time we can go.
What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching?
When I’m not at school, I am usually spending time playing with my son, Wesley, or my dog, Dexter. I also love music and play guitar when I can find the time!
Can you share some of your accomplishments or awards?
In my younger days, I was a Division-1 NCAA collegiate athlete playing rugby at San Diego State University. It was so much fun getting to travel around and playing the best teams in the country!
What motivated you to become a teacher?
I think that many of the health problems that this country faces can be solved by educating young children about the importance of exercise and health. It is my goal that all of my students make fitness a life-long priority!
Do you have a favorite quote? Author? Artist?
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt.
This is my all-time favorite quote because it perfectly describes my own attitude towards not only sports, but any difficult challenge in life, and how you should never let the fear of failure discourage you from trying something!
My favorite all-time author is JK Rowling. I have read and re-read the Harry Potter books more times than I care to admit.
My favorite artist is Metallica!
What are some of your favorite all-time books?
Besides the Harry Potter series, I am a big fan of Dan Brown’s novels (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Deception Point, etc.) as well as George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series which inspired the show “Game of Thrones.” As a younger person, I really loved the book Bud, Not Buddy and will read it to my own son many times.
Is there someone who you consider to be an inspiration? If so, who are they and why are they an inspiration to you?
I find new, inspiring people all of the time. Currently, I am very inspired by a professional football player named John Urschel. Not only is Urschel a star athlete, starting in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens as an Offensive Lineman, but he also has a master’s in mathematics from Penn State and is currently enrolled at MIT, studying to receive his Ph. D in mathematics! I have enormous respect for this man who excels not only physically, but mentally as well!