From high school to middle school and back again

Staff Reporter

Isabella Boxberger

 

Coming back to the high school after being in the middle school for a few years, Mr. Blaine Maier is ready to teach more math courses. But, every teacher has a life outside of school, just like students.

Mr. Maier is back at the high school, teaching math courses, challenging himself to be able to teach these difficult skills.

“I have always wanted to teach at the high school level, and that is where all of my teacher training took place. I took the RMS job back in 1998 because that was what was available at the time, but my heart has always been to teach at the high school level,” said Mr. Maier. “I enjoy the challenges of teaching a difficult skill to students. Not everyone can do it, and not every student can learn by watching videos and reading books.”

Not everything has been a dream come true though. According to Mr. Maier, he has been having some challenges along the way.

“The 2 biggest changes have been to readjust to the block schedule and dealing with the online textbook,” said Mr. Maier. “But I had to laugh when teachers and students would complain about how hot it has been this fall. The RHS rooms are probably at least 10-15 degrees cooler than a 3rd-floor room at RMS.”

Mr. Maier has taught for 35 years, 27 of them being at the high school.

“I was ready for the move back to RHS. I felt like I was not using my intellectual abilities teaching seventh and eighth graders. I enjoyed math with the people at RMS, but I wanted to use my training and education,” said Mr. Maier. “Teaching middle school is challenging (having to deal with a lot more discipline issues) and the expectation for middle school students really increased with College and Career Readiness Standards. A lot of those expectations were too much of a jump. The 2017 standards will move some expectations back to the middle school level and make the expectations of middle school more achievable.”

Math is on a long road to even more difficult curriculum and more experience needed for teachers.

“College and Career Readiness have spread the pressure of teaching math skills throughout the educational experience. Every grade level has certain expectations put on them.  In my opinion, this was long overdue. Having the experience of teaching middle school, I saw far too many students coming into the eighth grade performing at the fourth and fifth-grade level,” said Mr. Maier. “This shouldn’t be acceptable in any district. I’m proud of the students that were in my MTSS class last year. It was a Math Boot Camp. But most of them worked themselves up to the seventh-grade level or higher.”

 

But did you know that teachers actually have lives outside of school?

“I have managed the family farm for the past 5 plus years where I primarily focus on raising Black Angus cattle. I also earned my Judges License from the American Rabbit Breeders Association in October of 2010. Since that time I have traveled to 20 different states to judges shows of various types and sizes,” said Mr. Maier. “I just learned that I have been selected to judge at the 2018 national ARBA convention in Springfield, Massachusetts. I feel honored, since I have only been judging for 7 years and will be one of 75 judges chosen out of around 600 judges throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and southeast Asia.”

 

 

CAPTION: Mr. Maier has taught Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Physics, Algebra One and Algebra 2. “My favorite class to teach in Trigonometry followed by Physics.  There are lots of applications that can be shared with students to see where it gets used,” said Mr. Maier.

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