New Teacher Profile: Clayton McDonald

This is one in a series of Q&A’s with teachers new to Denair Unified in 2019-20

Family: Married one year

School:  Denair Middle School

Subject taught: Math intervention, PE, and leadership 

Experience and education:  I graduated from Fresno State in 2016 with a degree in Kinesiology. I then got my teaching credential at CSU Stanislaus. I am beginning my second year of teaching after teaching independent study at Denair Charter Academy as well as hath intervention at Denair Middle School last year. I am also the current high school JV boys basketball coach at Denair High School.

What attracted you to Denair? Denair is and always has been my home. I was raised in Denair and attended Denair schools from kindergarten through high school. I am a fourth-generation Denair Coyote and take great pride in that. I love the small-town atmosphere and the community. This is where my wife and I plan to start our family and raise our children, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work in this district. 

Why most inspires you about teaching? I teach because I truly want to make a difference in my students’ lives. There are very few professions that provide an opportunity to influence and inspire our youth and that is exactly what I hope to accomplish as an educator. 

What is a challenge you look forward to tackling this year? A challenge that I look forward to this year would be raising the school spirit here at Denair Middle School. As the leadership teacher, I want to create a culture at the middle school that makes kids feel safe and excited to come to school each day. 

What is your favorite teaching tool or activity? I try to incorporate games as much as possible when teaching math to help keep it fun for my students. My favorite math game is a game that I picked up from my sister, Mrs. Hilton, who teaches math at the high school, called “Crumple and Shoot.” This game involves answering math questions correctly to earn a chance to score points by shooting paper into a trash can. As a PE teacher, I really enjoy teaching California Ball toward the end of the year. This game is similar to baseball, but we use a tennis ball and racket.  

What do you want your students to remember? I really want my students to remember to always be kind to others no matter what. You never know what others might be going through in their lives, so always choose to be kind and it can go a long way. 

How can parents support what you do? I truly believe that education should be a collective effort between the teacher and parents. I always welcome parents to approach me with any questions or concerns that they might have. As the leadership teacher, I really encourage parents to get involved with the school and what we are doing. 

What would surprise people about your job? I think people would be surprised to learn just how much teachers really care for each of their students. While getting good grades and completing assignments is important, it is not all that teachers care about. Teachers volunteer a lot of their time doing things outside of the classroom to build relationships with students and show that we support and care for them. What do you do for fun? I love to hang out with friends and family and barbecue on weekends. I also love to travel and explore new places. And lastly, I really enjoy playing basketball and golf whenever I get the chance.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply