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Who’s Mr. Hoffman?

Dejah Marie, Staff Writer

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Mr. Hoffman has been teaching for sixteen years and is known to get along with most of his students and leave a lasting impression on them. He is a very interesting teacher and lives an interesting life that many would want to know about. As of now, he teaches English I-H, Speech and Communications, and Poet’s Workshop. Mr. Hoffman was even requested to teach English to add a new perspective and energy to the curriculum, and he volunteered to teach Speech and Communications and Poet’s Workshop. Mr. Hoffman says that he sees his Speech course from high school as “one of the more influential courses concerning my success in college and continued application in real-life scenarios.” He enjoys teaching poetry because it is one of his passions. He has published at least one poem almost every year since high school, performed spoken word, and is looking to submit a full collection of his own work in about a month.

As a teacher, Mr. Hoffman enjoys making an impact on his students, but he also likes to have an understanding of them as well. That’s why he enjoys teaching upper-clansmen. He says he enjoys teaching them the most because he enjoys getting students to see the various perspectives that can come with higher-order thinking. The Speech and Communications course is also highly enjoyable for him to teach because it naturally creates “authentic and applied learning scenarios” that students may need to learn. Some of his students actually created and began implementing their own businesses or facilitated the progress of an existing company.

Mr. Hoffman is such an interesting teacher because his influence to start teaching was his own frustration with the public education system. In high school, he worked diligently enough to have the opportunity to graduate early despite his lack of interest in school. However, he stayed due to his interest in Track and Field. His grandmother was also subconsciously a great influence on his decision to teach. He says she provided many great learning experiences for him and showed him what it is like to learn through “field trips of sorts.”  His grandmother also was awarded the National Teacher of the Year award when she was an English teacher at a Catholic school in western New York.

Mr. Hoffman says a reoccurring question by his students and even other teachers and administrators every school year is, “Why are you here?” It’s a peculiar question, so the first time he answered it he thought back to a conversation he had with a Peace Corps volunteer who had spent time in Africa. He told him, “a mountain pass between two villages and how the villagers, on passing each other, would say a phrase as a greeting that translated to, “How are your children?” They knew that if the children of the village were okay, then the future of the village was safe.” He has kept that experience with him. Hoffman says he teaches, “for the future of our nation and for the students in the seats in front of me- in hopes that I can provide a better education and experience than I received in high school and to secure the future of our nation and world.”

As a teacher, he likes to stress problem solving in his teaching methods, and he has made efforts to push models and tools in Charles County. He says, “I would love to pilot a Creative Problem-Solving course in this county, as this area of study is becoming more and more relevant and some colleges are even beginning to require their incoming freshman to take such a course.”

Mr. Hoffman even has some problems he has to solve in his own life. He also works in the service industry some nights “Out of necessity,” but still manages to miss very few school days. However, these obstacles do not hinder his ambitions. He has done a few business facilitations over the years, has been published, and has presented workshops at national and international conferences. He even makes time to write and perform spoken word at open mic nights, usually at Busboys and Poets, collaborated with a professional dancer, Pearl Carrington, is hosting a trip to Greece through EF Educational Tours, and is currently the girl’s head coach for Track & Field at Thomas Stone, all while finalizing a book of poetry he is going to submit to publishers, which will be entitled A Country Boy’s Walk through the City.

Before he was a teacher, he entered the service industry through hotels and restaurants, where he got into music promotions and even had an opportunity to drop out of college and take the lead as head-promoter for DOSE Productions out of Toronto, Canada, but he decided to continue his course with education.

Mr. Hoffman says he was always a teacher to some degree. He started college as an athletic training/physical education major.  After many of his professors and peers saw his writing skills, he was pressured more toward teaching English. He told himself that he would give at least ten years to teach and then pursue some of his own interests. He is currently at that cusp, and feels that his next step will be going overseas to teach and grow more as a person.

As teachers the advice he feels students will benefit from the most are to know themselves and not allow other people in their lives to bend their decisions or negatively influence their dreams or goals.  Mr. Hoffman believes, “if you are not actively involved in your community and only go out of your way if you have something to gain, then your success is always going to be limited.  The most successful people do not focus on the fame nor the success.  They are true to themselves and naturally want to see the people around them and their community be more than what it is.  These people naturally surround themselves with others that are driven and positive as a result and form relationships that are more mutually beneficial and not as toxic.”

Mr. Hoffman hopes that his students learn how to think for themselves and are more independent learners by the time that they leave his class. He also wants them to be more confident and able in their writing and communication skills. A former student from when he first started teaching even offered him a job as he mentored him throughout high school and even undergrad. Mr. Hoffman had helped facilitate many of his early moves in real estate, and he now owns a multi-million dollar real-estate company in Phoenix, Arizona and is expanding.

To close, Mr. Hoffman has had the experiences that has shaped him into the teacher he is today. He has so much to share with his students to help shape them as well. He truly works to influence his students and believes that “everything worth doing is worth doing right so, don’t sell yourself short and those around you won’t either.”

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Who’s Mr. Hoffman?