Falcon Flyer FALL 2020-2021 - Page 22

Have you ever wondered what it is like to start at a new school during a global pandemic? That is what one of Saddle Brook High School’s newest teachers, Mr. Eckel has experienced this year. So, the Falcon Flyer staff interviewed him to find out what it’s like to be a new teacher during the pandemic.

What inspired you to be a teacher?

Numerous factors inspired Mr. Eckel to become a teacher. The most prominent is that he “always had a natural teaching ability.” This was shown when he was a manager. Mr. Eckel explains that “good managers teach people.” So after the corporate world, teaching was his next step.

How does teaching connect to your past?

Mr. Eckel was an electrical engineer, which demonstrates his love for math and connects to the fact that he teaches Algebra I and an SAT Prep course at Saddle Brook High School. He also worked in the corporate world for approximately thirty years. In addition to teaching Algebra I and SAT Prep, he also teaches Financial Literacy, Business I, and Business II. Mr. Eckel had worked in both mathematical and corporate fields, which shows how the courses he currently teaches connects to his experiences in the past.

What challenges do you face as a new teacher?

Were these challenges amplified due to the Corona virus?

“There are many challenges I face as a new teacher,” remarks Mr. Eckel, as he reflects on his experience at Saddle Brook High School. He goes on to explain how every school has its own set of rules and policies. “The culture is different at every school, so you have to adjust.” Another challenge is the impact of Coronavirus. Due to Coronavirus, students must learn using the “flipped classroom” mentality. However, Mr. Eckel has seen some students struggle with this as many students rely on face to face interactions. Mr. Eckel works hard to provide his students with enough content to assist them with the material they must learn amid a pandemic.

How do you keep students engaged, even though they are remote?

Mr. Eckel feels as though staying in touch is more important than ever. This is why he records videos, posts reminders, and sends emails to his students to keep them engaged in their work. He believes that these methods help his students, especially through a flipped classroom setting.

How do you keep students engaged, even though they are remote?

ME: Mr. Eckel feels as though staying in touch is more important than ever. This is why he records videos, posts reminders, and sends emails to his students to keep them engaged in their work. He believes that these methods help his students, especially through a flipped classroom setting.

What does your typical day look like as you came to Saddle Brook High School?

Even though the school day may be shorter to some, it is still a “full-day schedule” to him. He is constantly grading work, creating videos, and posting reminders for his students. However, it has been easy to adjust for Mr. Eckel as “Saddle Brook has a great culture and welcoming atmosphere.”

12 QUESTIONS

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A NEW TEACHER

DURING THE PANDEMIC?

By: Olivia Laszcz

WITH

MR.ECKEL