Matthew Jochmans, a physics teacher at Towson High School, was one of six Baltimore County teachers and administrators honored with Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Awards by the Maryland State Department of Education. In this interview he talks about what keeps things interesting for him and his students everyday.
Q: What got you interested in teaching?
A: I wanted to work with people and I wanted to be able to share my subject area. I teach physics, which is the best subject ever by the way.
Q: What keeps you passionate about teaching after eight years?
A: Honestly it’s the kids.I love seeing them react and seeing them learn. Seeing students come out of the woodwork and seeing what they like to do and how they do it keeps it interesting.
Q: What is your approach to teaching Gifted and Talented students? How do you keep them interested?
A: Like with anything, you have to relate the subject to them. If you are a teenager, your lives revolve around only a couple different things besides school and friends and family. There are things that involve physics like your car, and your cell phone and you have to bring (physics) to them in that way. Also, I like to make my classroom a community. It makes it a lot easier to ask questions that way, and gives students the idea that we are all in this together.
Q: How did you react when you found out you won the award from MSDE?
A: I fist pumped! I’m really thankful that I was nominated. Towson is such an awesome school I am really happy and really proud. I think it says a lot about my students and the Towson community.
Q: What do you think makes you deserving of this award?
A: I think I got nominated because of how I teach, what I teach, and because I love it. I feed off the students. I can’t imagine being in a profession where things don’t change from year to year. It makes it fun, it keeps it interesting and it makes it hard.