Kia Educator of the Month for November, 2012
Robert Reznar, Physical Education Specialist, Orozco Academy
(Rezner joined by Nathan Rachow, Regional Sales Manager of Kia Motors, in the photo below)
1. How long have you been teaching? What grade do you teach?
Reznar: I have been teaching at Orozco Academy for the past 20 years and I work primarily with the 6th – 8th grade students.
2. Why did you decide you wanted to be a teacher? Are there any particular teachers who have influenced you in the past?
Reznar: I have always been interested in teaching at an early age. I always liked helping out little kids at parties, clubs and teams. Many teachers along the way have been a positive influence on me, especially my P.E. teacher in middle school. He made it very competitive, was positive in how he dealt with kids and just made P.E. fun.
3. Describe your favorite teaching memory or experience.
Reznar: I put together a program called Orozco Adventures where students participated in outdoor adventure activities such as downhill skiing, rock climbing and orienteering. We spent time with hopes and fears during the class and I learned so much about the students I worked with. Many of the students I work with have never had the opportunity to participate in these types of activities. Some even went on to start clubs at their high schools.
4. How do teachers/educators impact the lives of their students? What do you hope that you personally can do to have a positive impact on the students you work with?
Reznar: I think many people would tell you that their strong memories about school came not in the day to day classroom activities but what happened in after school programming, special days at schools and the one on one interactions they had with their teachers. As a P.E. teacher I hope that I give the students the skills to be competent in having an active lifestyle. I want my students to question the world around them, get involved in as many activities as they can and be a positive part of society. Teachers, especially at the middle school level have a huge impact on students and how they decide how to proceed with their life in high school. Positive experiences here will make them take full advantage of all high school has to offer hopefully getting them to college.
5. Describe how your professional role has made an impact thus far. What goals, if any, have you set in an effort to make even more of a difference in the future?
Reznar: I think I have been able to help the school make positive decisions about how the education process works at our school. I am involved in making a lot of day to day decisions about the students and how their school day will work. As far as the future, I hope to continue to provide quality lessons that get the students active, provide for optimal learning and allow the students to achieve at a high level of success.
6. If your students could end each school year having learned only one thing, what would you want that to be?
Reznar: I want all my students to become an active participant in their own future. I hope that the students begin to learn how to advocate for themselves and get involved in their future by learning as much as they can.
7. What was your reaction when you learned that you were nominated, and then when you were selected as the Kia Educator of the Month?
Reznar: I was completely taken by surprise. I actually thought that I was being asked to nominate someone else. I didn’t think they were talking about me. I became very proud and happy as I thought about all of the work I had done over the year. But most of all excited for the students knowing they would be able to celebrate as well.
8. As Teacher of the Month, how will you spend your $1,000 award money?
Reznar: All of the money will be spent on supplies and incentives to use in Physical Education class. I hope to re-stock our equipment for our programs and bring in new ideas for teaching fitness. I hope to purchase some pedometers, activity watches or other training devices that I can use during class.