“Choose to be happy.” This is Travis Dresch’s teaching mantra. Travis teaches high school chemistry and biology in the Cornwall-Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania. It’s apparent he enjoys science and teenagers, which not everyone can say.
I virtually “met” Travis when he signed up for one of our new courses: 5100: Train Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Practice of Happiness. His choice of courses made sense given his mantra! (We thank Travis for his loyalty as this most recent course was only one of EIGHTEEN courses he has taken since 2015. Clearly, Travis is also a life-long learner!)
We asked Travis some serious, and not so serious, questions! Take a look.
A:I became a teacher because I love to work with kids, help them shape their minds, and become critical thinkers in society. Being able to positively affect lives is a great gift, and the teaching profession has so many opportunities each day. We justhave toseek them out.
Q: Tell us about your favorite teacher growing up.
A: My favorite teacher was my biology teacher and my basketball coach/lifting coach. His passion for the profession was evident each day. He put so much time and energy into what he did and made students feel welcomed and supported. He is a big reason why I am in the profession today.
Q: What has been the most meaningful teaching experience you have experienced thus far?
A: The most meaningful experience in my teaching career is helping students in times of need. Yes, I want them to grow their minds and their thought processes in chemistry and biology, but I also want them to feel like they are supported in all aspects of life. When a student is upset, it is very easy to ignore the situation and move on. I find it difficult at times, but helping students through situations in life and listening to their thoughts have been some of the most meaningful experiences that I have had while teaching.
Q: What lesson or unit do you LOVE teaching and why?
A: I love teaching the chemical reactions unit in chemistry. It is so applicable to life and the world around us. It can be one of the more difficult units of the year for students, but it’s because they are using the skills they’ve built up all year.
Q: What is the best teacher resource you have ever come across?
A: Symbaloo. It’s not just a teacher resource, but it organizes my homepage. I used to bookmark or tab everything and I could never find my resources. Symbaloo has of the links and pages that I need, and I can customize it to my liking.
Q: Favorite food, drink or snack:
A: Hot wings
Q: Tell us one thing that would surprise us:
A: I play guitar.
Q: What would you do if you saw an elephant on school grounds?
A: Call animal control!
Q: What do you typically do on a non-school day?
A: I spend a lot of time outside in nature. I love to play with my two children and spend time with my wife.
Q: Favorite vacation spot of all time:
A: White Mountains of New Hampshire
Q: What strategies do you use to recharge and refresh?
A: I truly believe that parts of society have lost touch with nature. Being outside can be an excellent stress reducer and can help one become refreshed.
Q: What great advice would you give a first-year teacher?
A: Be flexible and remember that not everything has to be perfect.
Q: What is your teaching mantra?
A: “Choose to be happy.”