Teacher Spotlight : Mr. Beck

Teacher Spotlight : Mr. Beck

Nadia Aldweib, Writer

Winthrop High School is filled with so many different teachers, expanding across various subjects and grade levels. The faculty of Winthrop High School has evolved these past years, with various new additions to the staff. For the most part, the majority of the WHS staff are pretty well known across the student body. One particularly well known member of the WHS faculty that I’ll be highlighting is Mr. Beck.

Most everyone knows Mr. Beck to be the AP Calculus teacher who is extremely passionate about anything math with the exception of stats. I decided to find out a bit more from Mr. Beck on what led to him becoming a teacher at Winthrop High School, among other things.  

I started off by asking Mr. Beck about his role and responsibilities here at Winthrop High School and how he came to find his place at Winthrop High School as a teacher.  

Nadia : What is your role here at Winthrop High School?

Mr. Beck : My role is the Lead Math Teacher, teaching computer science and AP Calculus and any other math course with the exception of AP stats. I am the advisor for math club, first level tech support for teachers, tennis coach, and a mentor to new teachers.”

N : Why did you decide to take up a position at Winthrop High School?

Mr. Beck : “I chose to take up a position at Winthrop High School because I wanted to teach in a smaller school system where I could really make a difference.”

N : What do you enjoy about your job and working at Winthrop High School in particular?

Mr. Beck : I enjoy (intellectually) torturing the smart students as much as I like to help the mathematical disenfranchised gain a love for mathematics. I love coaching tennis as well. The best thing about teaching at WHS is that you are able to make your job as big as you want it to be. Another aspect I really like is that the administration, faculty and staff are like friends and family, an overall very tight knit community who has your back. I like the small town atmosphere and enjoy going to student sporting events. A special bonus to teaching here for the last 20+ years is that I get to see former students coming back as teachers.”    

N : Where did you attend college? What did you major in & study?

Mr. Beck : “I attended Northeastern University for my undergrad, a bachelors of science in electrical engineering with a focus on computer science. For graduate school, I attended the Graduate School Of Education at Harvard University for a Masters in Education.”  

N : Who were your educational inspirations?

Mr. Beck : I most definitely wouldn’t be an educator if it weren’t for my physics teacher Mr. Klein. He convinced  me that I could be an engineer even when I didn’t know what an engineer was. Another person would be my sister. She has more degrees than letters in her name. My geometry teacher, Mr. Desjardins, proved to me that school could be fun. We played ping pong just about every lunch block. Lastly, and most importantly, my mother. Her only expectation of me was that I do the best I could.”

I then asked Mr. Beck about how he likes to spend his time when he’s not in the classroom and if he’d like to share some lesser known facts about himself.

N : What are some things you enjoy doing outside of WHS & the classroom?

Mr. Beck :Some things I enjoy are tennis, golf, hiking, movies, and music. I also love to spend time with my friends and family. I enjoy developing curriculum along with programming and building stuff.”

N : Do you have any interesting facts about yourself that you’d like to share?

Mr. Beck : Some interesting facts about me are that …

(1) I keep a list of near death experiences. The list compels me to appreciate life to the fullest and not take anything for granted.

(2) I was a bully in middle school. Having gone to five schools in four years, I found that being a bully kept students from bullying me. 

(3) I didn’t like school as a kid, particularly throughout high school. Much later as an adult I realized how important it was which led to my career change from engineering to education.”

(4) The only limits we have are the ones we impose on ourselves. Use the discouraging words of others as motivation to prove the nay-sayers wrong and achieve success. 

I concluded our interview by asking Mr. Beck if he has any life advice he’d like to pass on.

N : Do you have any life advice you would like to pass on to people?

Mr. Beck : “Life is too long to have only one career and too short to be unhappy in one. Start with a career that will make you money, the more the better. Then later in life should you discover a passion for a less lucrative career you will be able to follow your newly discovered passion. You also have to continuously enhance the three major axes of well being: mind, body, and soul. This will keep you an overall happy and productive person.” 

“Some advice for students is that if you feel you aren’t ready for college, then take a year off to explore your options. It’s best to be sure that you want to go and are totally invested in the college endeavor; otherwise, it will be a waste of time and money and likely a source of discontent. Your starting point does not dictate your ending point. True happiness comes from enjoying the moments in between. Seek opportunity when faced with adversity; opportunity always co-exists with adversity. Pay it forward when you can; because random acts of kindness provide joy to the benefactor as well as the receiver.”

Mathematics background Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

Well that concludes my interview with Mr. Beck. That’s all I have for this week for the Viking Times. I hope you’ve all enjoyed getting to know Mr. Beck through this interview. A big thank you to Mr. Beck for answering all of my questions and allowing for the students and staff of WHS to get to know him a little bit better. Mr Beck is an extremely passionate teacher who’s always up to help anyone who needs or wants it. If you find yourself roaming the second floor be sure to pop in and say hello. He can be found mostly in his classroom or around the area, most  likely partaking in something math related. Thanks again Mr. Beck!