Everyday, students enter trailer number 24 at Berkmar High School to gain knowledge about US History. When reaching the top of the stairs, students grab their half sheet of notes and sit in their seats. They copy the essential question and both vocabulary words on the board. It sounds like a regular classroom, run by a regular teacher, but Mr. Medina is not a regular teacher. He does not have any student wooden desks, just light grey plastic foldable tables. Mr. Medina plans his jokes the night before his lessons just to make at least one of his students smile or laugh.
Four years ago, he became a graduate from Kennesaw State University, and he saw an opportunity to make a change at Berkmar. “I wanted to give a different perspective to students in the classroom. The classrooms from 1980 look similar to the ones we have today, we need to change that by allowing more physical activities incorporated into our lessons.” He felt the need to get rid of the traditional desks for space to do his lesson plans. Mr. Medina teaches the way he does, so his students realize the way the material impacts them. He includes LEGOS bricks to convey the idea of the Erie Canal and scavenger hunts to show the impact of the Bill of Rights.
Mr. Medina’s greatest fear is becoming a boring teacher, one that constantly gives out textbook work and projects. “Going to his class is the best part of my day,” says a student from Mr. Medina’s eighth period block and academy time. “The activities he does help me remember the most important information about the topic, and his lessons are short, simple, and to the point,” says Astrid Ruiz.
Eight years ago, Mr. Medina was a Brookwood Bronco graduate, now he is a Berkmar Patriot. He chooses to ‘Believe in the B’ for his students. He believes that teachers have a major impact on students, and sometimes, all they need is a push. Everything Mr. Medina does at Berkmar is for his students, he inspires them to try their best, and be themselves while doing so.
Who would have thought that all this happens inside trailer 24?