New Teacher Profile: Gavin Souza

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

School:  Denair Middle School

Subject taught: Sixth grade

Experience and education:  In 2014, I was a elementary PE teacher, while also subbing. I was also an intervention teacher for two years at Little Lake City School District in Norwalk, Calif. Last year, I was a sixth-grade elementary school teacher in Waterford. I graduated from Turlock High School, went to Stan State for 2½ years and then transferred to Long Beach State, where I graduated in 2013.  I then went and got my teaching credential and master’s at National University.

What attracted you to Denair? I already knew a few people in the district since I grew up in Turlock. What got me noticing the district more was when I was at sixth-grade camp, and my district got paired with Denair and I got to work with some of the staff. They were awesome, friendly and a real joy to work with.

Why most inspires you about teaching? I enjoy making an impact on students. I remember when I was a student and how much I appreciated a teacher who made learning fun, but taught me life lessons along the way that I could use after my time with that teacher. I like being on the other end of that spectrum now and making that same impact to students.

What is a challenge you look forward to tackling this year? The big challenge I am looking forward to is that this is my first year being in a middle school setting, rather than being in the elementary setting. I am also teaching a new elective that is new to the district — robotics and model design — which should be interesting and fun for me and the students.

What is your favorite teaching tool or activity?  I think the best is yet to come for this question. I get to teach robotics to the students, so I am sure that will be my new favorite activity.

What do you want your students to remember? I want my students to remember how awesome their first year of middle school was and how much they enjoyed their elective class.

How can parents support what you do? The goal with parents is to have a team effort and keep standards high both outside and inside the classroom. Making sure parents understand what is happening inside the classroom and feeling open to emailing me and keeping an open communication line.

What would surprise people about your job?  Every day is different and keeps things fresh. Building relationships with students and teaching them new crafts always has self-gratification within it. I think most people laugh when they find out I am a teacher because when I was in school I struggled at times, and now I am a teacher.What do you do for fun? I love being around sports. Anything that could be competitive, I am all for. I also enjoy going to the movies and reading.

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