Years of experience add up quick

Teacher feature – Mr. Stenger, Math


Emily Torres Maravilla

Mr. Stenger painstakingly describes the process to his students.

Aldo Suarez, Classes Editor

Hidden behind the weight room in T-5 is Mr. John Stenger’s math class. He is a dedicated teacher who has taught at Armijo for 14 years and still wants the best for his students. Even when they are challenged, he takes the time to explain the problem until the students comprehend.

“I have always liked math, and I have always liked helping people learn math, so I figured teaching is the best of both worlds,” he said. “Why not go for that?

“I feel like people should help others rather than just keep putting people down. There is no point in that. We don’t develop as a society if we just tramp over each other. Why not help each other grow as a country, as a nation?” he said, but it hasn’t been easy over the last year and a half.

COVID took its toll on his students last year and it has created barriers for students this year, too. “It is very difficult to engage student interactions when they are not even looking at their cameras or seeing their faces, so teaching during COVID wasn’t such a good experience,” said Mr. Stenger. “I understand it was difficult for teachers, and students as well, but it was not fun!”

Mr. Stenger earned his degree and his teaching credential at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “It took me about five years to do that, [and San Luis Obispo is] one of my favorite places in the state,” he said, praising the weather.

Teaching was one of two careers he considered. “I was either going into teaching or enlisting. It was a toss-up at first, but he recognized his interests in math and chose to become a teacher instead.

After 14 years at Armijo, he would still recommend teaching to students who are considering it. “There is a lot more to it than you realize,” he said. “Not just standing in front of a classroom and teaching. There is a whole lot more. The programs that are out there, the training — they can only do so much. There is a lot that you may not know of until you step into that door and start teaching. Be aware, there will be things that you don’t know until you start, though. There are a lot of things that you will not know till you actually start teaching.” 

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