Going Beyond the Curriculum

Teachers go above and beyond to interact with students

Going Beyond the Curriculum

Shay Lawson, Maddy Kang, and Sadie Myer, Staff Writers

Educators have a very important role in students’ academic careers. They prepare students for the future by making sure they have the educational skills needed to succeed.

Some teachers, however, are also concerned with getting to know their students on a deeper level, going beyond the curriculum and diving into their personal lives.

Math teacher Laura Volz is one of those teachers. She said sometimes in her Advanced Algebra classes, her students have days where they don’t even do math — they just sit and talk with one another.

“I try to make it pretty well known that my number-one goal is to teach math,” Volz said. “But it’s more important to me to get to know [my students] as people and recognize that they have lives that happen outside of the walls of this classroom. I want to know who they are — not just as a math student.”

Social studies teacher Jason Dolezal also said he likes to get to know students personally, especially at the beginning of the year.

“I start out with a psychological profile,” Dolezal said. “I give [students] a personality test, and I ask them to set some goals for the year. Then I get to figure out who they are as a person, what kind of music they like to listen to, what kind of movies they watch and get to know them as people first. That’s my ultimate goal — who are they as a human being?”

Dolezal said when students say class flies by, it’s one of the biggest compliments he could receive and that he enjoys teaching very much and wants students to feel comfortable talking with him.

“I want people to enjoy coming up and talking to me; I think the beard’s intimidating sometimes, and people are afraid of it,” Dolezal said. “But for the most part I think it’s a two-way street. If they don’t care, then I don’t care. If they care, I go above and beyond for them.”

Volz said she likes to joke around and tell stories, but her main priority is making sure her students feel important.

“I find people interesting and I want them to feel valued,” Volz said. “In high school there’s definitely lots of kids with lots of confidence, but there are students at some point that don’t feel valued or confident, and I want to have that opportunity to show that I care.”