I’ve had many teachers throughout my middle school years and the first half of my freshmen year here at DMA, but Senior Chief McClain quickly became one of my favorites. Senior Chief is different from all my other teachers, and I look forward to his class at the end of each day. Before I even walk in his door, he makes me laugh, and when I see him in the halls or at lunch, he always takes the time to say hello. I think is anyone deserves Educator of the Year, it’s Senior Chief.
Senior Chief’s unique style of teaching got my attention from one of the first days I met him. By telling his own personal stories to laughing and joking around and getting to better know all his students, Senior Chief really stands out to me. Whenever we’re taking notes, he always tells quick stories about things that have happened to him or people he knows. I remember this one time he told us the story about his friend who knew how to change his voice to make it sound like animals, and he used this talent to save himself by sounding like a tiger. Another thing I like about Senior Chief is that he really tries to get to know all his students. This is a quality none of my middle school teachers really had, and it makes me happy that he actually cares about his students beyond just their academics. For example, Senior Chief starts conversations with me that aren't related to his class, and at the end of each day he gives all his students a fist bump and tells them to have a good day. Senior Chief also always comes into class elated to teach, and I tend to learn better when teachers show that they love their job and that they are happy to be there and that's exactly what Senior Chief does.
Another reason Senior Chief is my favorite is that he is very encouraging and motivating. He shows that he believes in all his cadets, and whenever we don’t succeed at something, he doesn’t get angry but instead encourages us to try again and tells us that eventually we’ll get the hang of it. When we go out to drill and someone can’t do a certain command, he offers help or will find someone that can help us because he wants to see all his cadets do well. Another example is that this marking period my grades started to drop for many reasons, but Senior Chief said “ I know you can do better; i’ve seen you do better, or when I was the last person to finish the mile, he cheered me on and said “Good job there was nothing stopping you out there” it gave me the motivation to try harder and do better because it showed me that someone really cared and believed in me. Senior Chief’s motivation and encouragement not only help me at school but in my daily life as well.
In addition, Senior Chief has a great sense of humor and is always smiling. The more you get to know him you’ll learn that he likes to tell everything in a joking manner. If a boy shares a story with the class and Senior Chief notices that his hair is getting too long and or it’s out of regulation, he’ll say “how about you tell that story to your barber tonight”. Senior Chief also says “what no i’m Senior Chief people always get the two confused” when someone whispers oh my god under their breath. There are many more things that he says everyday that make me laugh till I cry, but those are just a few examples. I’ve also started to notice that even when Senior Chief has something important to say, he will tell the class in a joking way, for me this doesn't stress me out as much as it would if he were to say it in a very serious tone.
In these past 7 months I have gotten the opportunity to get to know Senior Chief better, and I am so glad I did. No matter how my day is going his class always seems to be able to crack at least one smile out of me. I can see that he really loves his job and that’s what makes me like his class even more. He shows that he trusts me and that he believes in me and that’s what has encouraged me to keep going and trying my best everyday. Senior Chief has honestly inspired me so much, and whenever i am struggling whether it's related to school or my personal life, I just think about what he has taught me, and I try and make the decisions he would be proud to know I made. I am so thankful to have a teacher like Senior Chief McClain and these are just some of the many reasons I think Senior Chief McClain should be Educator of the Year.