A rough start for a dedicated teacher

Teacher Feature – Mr. Hicks, Science



Mr. Hicks is living the life with his dream job, really!

For the last two years, Mr. Joash Hicks has been teaching at Armijo. Last year, his students were learning Biology and Living Earth Biology, and this year he is teaching Environmental Science. Before that, he was a student teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento

He went to Shafter High School in California, but also Tualatin High School in Oregon. He is the first in his family to graduate from college. “My family was never close and we were poor,” said Mr. Hicks.

Before becoming a teacher, he did “a little of everything: Computer tech, fast food, retail sales, sugar tester in the cantaloupe fields, pest detection, and so much more.”

He became a teacher because he wanted to “make the world a better place by energizing youth to be successful and care about the people and environment,” but it wasn’t easy to get started at Armijo during a pandemic.

“It was my first year,” he said. “I created most of my stuff and even though I struggled to get engagement from my students, I kept at it.”

He kept busy during Distance Learning playing video games and creating his curriculum. It “not a hobby, but takes up almost all of my free time,” he said. He enjoys building community in his classroom now that students are back on campus. “I have a class fish tank thanks to Ms. Vanessa Walling-Sisi.”

While he is enjoying teaching, he wouldn’t recommend it as a career choice “unless you know you will love it. A teacher has to be everything from a performer to a medic. This job demands more than anyone should ever have to give to make a paycheck. So DO NOT become a teacher unless you love helping others and working to make the world a better place one student as a time,” he said.

Mr. Hicks has lived his own advice. It is not that he wants to leave teaching, but instead that he loves it. “Teaching is the best thing I have ever done,” he said.