Q&A to welcome Mr. Lopez, Brookfield Central’s newest English teacher

Mr. Lopez teaches his class of engaged English 9 Honors students.

Elmbrookschools.org

Mr. Lopez teaches his class of engaged English 9 Honors students.

Neha Ajjampore and Shweta Panda

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Along with the new batch of students came a new addition to the Brookfield Central High School teaching staff: Jason Lopez. Lopez has taken the place of English teacher Susan Veeder, who stepped down from her position late in the summer. Though Veeder will be missed, Lopez has had a great start to the year with his English classes, according to his pupils. We sat down with him and asked him a few questions about the school year so far.
Q: How did you feel when you found out that you got the teaching position?
A: I was nervous and excited. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but I think I really had a first feeling when I walked in here and I met all of the students – everybody made me feel very welcome and part of the community and part of the family. I guess I would say I felt great.
Q: This far into the school year, what are some highlights from taking this job?
A: Every day is a highlight for me. There’s some mornings where it’s like 6:07 and I look at my phone and I’m like, “Ugh, it’s pretty early.” I drive here and once I […] turn right into the parking lot, I see everyone walking in from school buses and I’m like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I get to class, and it’s like, you all give me energy and make me want to be here. It’s not a chore, it’s not a job, it’s not, “I have to go to work.” This is where I feel like I need to be and I want to be.
Q: Was teaching originally what you wanted to do? Could you see your former high school self teaching in the future?
A: Yes and no. To be honest, I was an awful high school student. I was the student that you probably should not model yourself after in terms of grades and behavior. But I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to do this, but I just didn’t think that I had the ability to endure the college experience […]. But I pushed through and I did it, and I’m happy that I did.
Q: Any advice for your high school self?
A: Always embrace and utilize the opportunities that somebody gives you. It’s not very often that people hand things to you and when they do, when they want to help you out and take care of you and see you succeed, don’t ever discount that or throw it away, because once you get older, those opportunities come less and less.
Q: Is there anything that you regret doing in high school now that you’re teaching?
A: Oh, yeah. How big can the list be? I regret not giving some of my teachers the respect that they deserved and earned. I especially regret not doing as well in classes that I should have done […] I had to do an additional year in college to make up a lot of the things that I missed. It was a lot of extra time and extra money; your high school education doesn’t cost a ton for you, right? So, do it now so you don’t have to do it later- do it the right way now.

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