Teacher Feature: Aaron Guevara
Varsity Boys Soccer Coach
New Mexico History Teacher
High School 101 Instructor
Carlsbad Municipal School District
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in history from New Mexico state University
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
What’s your favorite time period in history?
That’s a hard question to narrow down, but I like reading about the Roman Empire.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of teaching?
I enjoy traveling with my wife, Emily, on school breaks. Every opportunity we have to go on a road trip or fly, we take. Two of my favorite trips include Capri, Italy (where we went for our honeymoon) and London, England (where we bought tickets to watch my favorite soccer team, Arsenal, play). Also, I loved our trip to see the redwood forest in California. The feeling of being surrounded by trees is something I’ll never forget.
I am also a gamer. Playing FIFA, which is a soccer game, is one of my favorite hobbies.
Tell us about your background and your role(s) in the school system.
I always wanted to get back to Carlsbad and coach. At first, it was difficult to get a foot in the door in the district, so I coached eighth-grade football for a season and eighth-grade girls basketball. I coached girls basketball for four years. These first coaching opportunities were a great introduction to the role and responsibilities of being a coach while using the time to hone my coaching skills. For three years, I was also the assistant coach to the Cavegirl soccer team. In addition, I spent one year as the assistant coach to Cavemen soccer.
I began my teaching career five years ago as the SMART Lab (also called the STEM Lab) instructor for seventh-graders.
Have you received any awards?
The most memorable award I received came from the last group of seniors I coached on the girls soccer team. They presented me with a plaque reading “Easiest to Meg.” In soccer practices and games, it’s embarrassing to have a ball go between your legs after it is kicked to you. When the ball rolls between your legs, it is called a “meg.” Those seniors had a lot of fun keeping me on my toes.
How have you adjusted your teaching/coaching philosophies in your own experience?
At first, I taught like my old teachers, standing up before the class and keeping fairly quiet. I quickly learned that the new generations want more than lecturing, so my role now is more of a facilitator than a lecturer. I find that students excel when they have responsibility and investment in a school project so I want them to take the lead in their education. When coaching, I find having the kids take responsibility carries onto the field too. The kids want to trust that you care about them, then quality learning and successful athletes stem from that trust. Trust is key.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The first group of students I taught as seventh-graders graduated this past May. The most rewarding part of teaching is watching students returning to my classroom or sending me an email or leaving a letter sharing a memory of the class. I really appreciate having a reflection of the work I do.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give someone who wants to be a teacher?
Have patience and remember you were once that age. Recall who you were or who your friends were at their age. Try to understand what the students are going through and listen a little longer. Ask another question. Don’t snap. Don’t be frustrated.