WoFo’s Teacher Spotlight features awesome educators who are teaching and inspiring young people everyday. In this edition, WoFo features middle school teacher Tom Snyder. I would like to thank Tom for his interview and for his dedication to the teaching profession.
…stay as inspired and passionate as you were on the first day of your first year.
Besides being a teacher Tom Snyder is…
A husband, a father, a son, a brother, a teammate a friend, a sports fan, a life long passionate learner and a writer.
Checkout Tom’s blog snyderthomas.blogspot.com
Where do you teach, what do you teach and for how long?
I currently teach at Pond Road Middle School where I have been teaching for the past 21 years. I have been employed by the Robbinsville School District (New Jersey) for 22 years but I began my career at Sharon School while we were waiting for the Middle School to be built.
What is your favorite lesson to teach and why?
I don’t have one favorite lesson but my favorite lessons are the ones that empower my students to collaborate and give them opportunities to actively engage in the days learning.
If for one day you were in charge of your school what would you do?
I have so much respect for the challenges that all of the stakeholders that are part of the educational process face. If I were to be in charge of my school the first thing I would do would be to create a day to celebrate and honor all of the stakeholders. I would also work with them to craft a day of learning where we could all benefit from a varied set of instructional experiences.
If you could write one quote on the board for your students what would it be?
One of my favorite quotes is “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life that you have imagined.” I believe our focus as educators is to help put students on a path and allow them to navigate their direction. They must ultimately take the wheel and take control of their own lives. It is up to us to provide them with the tools so that they are prepared for this transition.
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
I have always been a passionate sports fan, specifically of the Philadelphia teams. If I was not teaching I would have liked to have been a sports broadcaster or a sports writer.
What advice would you give to all new teachers?
My advice to all new teachers is to stay as inspired and passionate as you were on the first day of your first year. You are here for the kids and that’s what they deserve. It will be a challenge to be certain, but you must find a way to stay true to your purpose always.
If the best thing about teaching is the students, what is the second best thing?
The second best thing about teaching is getting to spend 180 days a year with my teammates. They help me when I need support. They make the good times more enjoyable. They have helped me to become a better educator and person. They are 100 percent invested in improving the educational experiences for kids and that always inspires me.
Who inspires you?
My wife inspires me along with my children. My wife is a school counselor and will go to great lengths to help her students or her co-workers. Her generosity extends to her personal life as well. She always sacrifices of herself to do assist others in their time of need. Her compassion and service to others provides a consistent source of inspiration for me. Watching my children mature and evolve into young adults and accomplish goals is a source of inspiration for me as well.
My classroom superpower is…
My passion for life long learning. I believe that one of our most important jobs as teachers is to be “lamplighters”. We must excite our students about learning and inspire them. We do this by modeling the importance of learning in our own lives and sharing these experiences with them.
Do you know a rock star teacher who deserves to be a part of WoFo’s Teacher Spotlight series? If so, please email their contact information to email@example.com.