Getting to know our teachers — Andrew Turpen
Where do you teach?
What grade/subject do you teach?
4th grade math and social emotional skills
Why do you teach?
I decided to become a teacher because I think that education is important and I know that I can be a stable person in a kid’s life. I want to help set kids up so that they are able to be successful adults and community members.
What is your favorite part of the school day?
My favorite parts of the school day are the unstructured times with students, such as recess and lunch bunch. I really enjoy joking and talking with the students. These times during the day give me a chance to really get to know the students on an individual basis outside the classroom.
What are you working hardest on right now?
Right now in fourth grade we are working really hard on ourselves. We are doing a lot of introspective work and thinking about ourselves and the part we play in the world. We are doing this through some activities, discussions and emotional discussions. The students have made massive gains when it comes to talking and thinking about their emotions. We are also working on identifying our strengths and accepting that we aren’t going to be good at everything.
What are you most proud of as a teacher?
Right now I am most proud of how well my students have been participating and being vulnerable during our social emotional learning time. We have been having some big discussions and focusing on our feelings. The students know that it is going to make them uncomfortable, and they step up and try even if they are afraid. It has been really great to see their responses and how they’ve changed throughout the year.
How do you contribute to/how are you involved in our community outside of school?
We just moved back to the area, so I am currently looking for opportunities to get involved in our community.
What makes you the happiest as a teacher?
The thing that makes me the happiest is when I can tell that my students are comfortable and confident in the classroom. I get really excited to see the growth that students make throughout the year, whether it is socially or academically.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of school?
Outside of school, I enjoy participating in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as going to the gym. I also enjoy reading many different types of books and spending time with my family. I am always looking for ways to help make myself and those around me better, whether that is through podcasts, books, or videos.
What do you wish your students/families knew about you?
I would want my families and students to know that their successes, even ones they don’t think are a big deal, are a big deal to me. Seeing students get better and realize, “Wow I can actually do this,” or seeing their face when they are told how proud I am of them is my favorite thing. I also want them to know that I want every student to win and feel confident in themselves.
What does Together We Rise mean to you?
To me “Together We Rise” means that through teamwork and helping each other we can all be our best and reach our goals. It means that as a school district we are going to work together so that all students feel that they are important and that they can succeed at their goals.