Richard Rogers, Carl Hayden High SchoolPosted:
Carl Hayden High School has made national headlines recently from the movie "Spare Parts" which tells the story about their robotics club, but this time one teacher is making news in the Valley for a completely different reason. Javier Soto takes one well-deserving English teacher, Richard Rogers, by surprise when he stopped by this classroom and presented him with the 3TV Silver Apple award.
Each year 8 teacher are honored for their excellence in education with this great award and are given $500 for use in their classroom. One of Mr. Rogers students, Seth, felt compelled to nominate him for so many reasons. He says in his nomination letter: "For many students, English tends to be a dull subject with little excitement. However, there are a select few teachers whose sole purpose is to bring the subject to life for us students. They understand that we are their future, thus, our education is vital for the survival of generations to come. This perfectly describes Richard Rogers and his teaching style."
Mr. Rogers started at the school in the late 80's and we asked him a few questions about his time as a teacher:
Why did you decide to get into teaching?
My parents were teachers and I respected what they did. I also had some amazing teachers, especially my junior English teacher. However, it wasn't until the end of college that I changed my plans, realizing I wanted to teach high school.
What is your favorite teaching moment?
There have been many beautiful moments - graduations, old students coming back to visit and the like - but my favorite recent moment was when I had to stop the literature groups and they asked if they could please keep reading.
How did you feel when you realized you won the Silver Apple Award?
I was completely shocked and a little embarrassed. There are many teachers I respect enormously whose names I would have put before my own. But being selected is definitely rewarding and gratifying.
What do you plan on doing with the $500 grant?
I have been wishing I could get enough copies of recent popular novels (such as "The Fault in Our Stars) for a different kind of literature circle. This award allows me the opportunity to do just that.
What is one of your best practices in the classroom?
I believe in offering students multiple changes to show growth or to correct earlier lapses. I encourage students to retake quizzes, rewrite essays and improve homework assignments. I want them to show mastery, event late, because learning the material is more important than the date it occurs.
What advice would you give to new teachers?
It's necessary to look ahead, to plan for the whole year, but don't dwell on it or you'll be overwhelmed. You can't teach it all at once. Focus on the manageable - the unit and the lesson.
What was the greatest life lesson you've learned through your teaching experience that has affected your personal life?
I have learned, gradually, to be patient, and try to understand the difficulties others only hint at. Everyone needs compassion.
Congratulations to Mr. Rogers for his excellence in education and thank you for making a difference in the lives of Arizona's future leaders.