Featured Teacher: Terry Garcia

Adriana Flores, Reporter

For the very happy teacher who starts his day in room 66 and ends it in room 217, Terry Garcia observes the class as he tells us what taught him to be the person he is today.

“I grew up in the not so good part of San Bernardino,” he states, “I consider southern California my home.” With a younger brother and sister Garcia laughs a little smile to say, “I’m at the top of the food chain, so I’m the more responsible one.”

As the seasons change, so do the fields for young Mr. Garcia. Switching from shoulder pads and footballs to batting gloves and baseballs. Garcia goes on with, “Not in high school though because I had to work to support my family.”

The pretty quiet but friendly guy patiently waits and with a smile of happiness he quickly states, “My wife, Mrs. Garcia, she’s my best friend! She motivates me to be a better person everyday.”

“My uncle Manny,” Garcia look off in the distance while tapping his fingers on his knee, “That’s the person with the biggest impact on me. I remember him telling me ‘Never depend on money because it’ll always be there,’ he didn’t have money most of the time. I looked up to him with certain things.”

“How is my life helping others,” he repeatedly asked himself as he rubbed his ankle and rapidly blinked to think. “That’s a good question.” Garcia begins to laugh, “um I pay my fair share of taxes, that’s one isn’t it? Oh I also donate.”

Sitting with his chin in the palm of his hand and elbow on knee; the teacher known as Mr. Garcia shares his love for teaching, “I really love working with students.” When the question, who introduced you to being a high school teacher, came appointed to him, Garcia with his head tilted in thought says, “Um I can’t say just one name, in fact I didn’t even want to be a teacher in college. It wasn’t a person it was more of a life experience, it grew into itself because of all the work I had done with kids. I love helping students that’s really what it is, I love being the fun teacher. I feel like I could be myself, I don’t…” he repositions himself to go over papers, “um I don’t, I don’t,” he looks down then at the class before him, he smiles “I don’t have to pretend.” The reason behind Garcia helping teens with advice is, “Because when I was their age, I didn’t have nobody to help me with my life choices, so I want to do that for today’s teens, the teens that I call my students.”

The helpful person, not just as a teacher but just in general looks straight at the student facing him and asks, “What’s the scariest time in my life?” Turning to the reporter, it’s like the light switch turned on, “Oh, yeah, I know. There was a time where a student almost caught herself on fire. We were doing a project; she had become clumsy and spilled gasoline on herself… she almost walked towards the fire! I had to stop her; that was the scariest time of my life. I fear a student getting caught on fire under my supervision.”

As the bell to go to the next class is about to ring, Mr. Garcia has not only taught us chemistry in room 66 and Career and College Readiness in room 217, but he has taught us to be to pay attention of our surroundings and learn to help in life.