News News Briefs — 30 October 2015
News:  Westmoreland alum returns to teach at Rock Creek

Interview with new high school math teacher Butch Hayes

Why did you choose to become a teacher?

“Well, I guess I had education in my background. My dad was a principal. On actually both sides of my family, I had teachers, so I kind of grew up in it, and through college and all that kind of stuff,
with the experience I gained in college in teaching, I really enjoyed it, so I stuck with it.”

Why did you choose high school education?

“I had the opportunity to work in the middle school and the high school through my experience in college, and I just enjoyed high school a little bit better. Junior high was a little bit too squirrelly down there. With high school, I got to teach a lot of the students I was coaching, too.”

What do you find most difficult about your job?

“Most difficult… I guess, sometimes, the paperwork will get in the way of the enjoyment you have. There is a lot of paperwork these days, especially with Common Core and the different things they ask you to do now. That does get in the way a bit. I guess the busy work is what it becomes so it’s not very fun a lot of times.”

Do you feel that your students have an impact on you?

“Yeah, I do. I learn a lot from the students I’ve taught. That’s part of why I enjoy teaching so much. I get to meet some many cool kids and that type of thing.They’re all different, and they all offer something. I think that they have had a positive impact on my life [and] built some good relationships, too. You know I’ve been teaching long enough now that I have a lot of my students as friends.”

What impact do you feel that you have on your students?

“Well, hopefully it’s a positive impact. That’s what I try to do. I teach math, but at the same time, I try to teach more than that, you know? Be a better person — that type of thing. I try to be a positive. I guess that would be the one thing that my colleagues from previous schools would say about me — that I’m positive. I try to be a positive influence on them.”

Why did you choose to come to Rock Creek?

“You know, I graduated from Westmoreland High School, and I kinda knew this area. I only went there one year, though; I went there my senior year. I’m originally from western Kansas, and that’s where I was teaching. The opportunity came up, and it just felt right to get back to this area. I know a lot of people from this area. When I interviewed for the job, the first moment I stepped into the building, I was like, ‘This is it, this is it! It’s a good decision.’ and I was fortunate enough to get the job, and it’s been good.”

Did they make you feel welcome when you came here?

“Oh, yeah, my wife too. We both came the same day to interview. We both commented that it felt right. It was because of the people, the building and the atmosphere.”

What do you find to be the most difficult task when coming to a new school?

“The most difficult thing is probably understanding the environment, getting to know the environment. Getting to know how to operate with your colleagues mainly. As far as the job goes, students are students — that’s easy. You can control your classroom, but you just have got to get to know the people on the building and that type of thing is the biggest adjustment.”

Did you feel like you needed to adjust anything when you came to Rock Creek?

“No, I didn’t. I have moved around a lot in my life, and I have learned one thing, and that’s be yourself. I want to be myself, and I seem to get along with people throughout my career, so that’s what I have done here.”

Lately, do you find anything special about Rock Creek?

“I think what has surprised me really, coming from a smaller school to a much larger school, about twice as big, is the students here are some of the best students I have met. I’ve had experiences in much larger schools. I’ve taught in Philadelphia where the class size is about 2000 in high school. I was almost expecting that kind of environment when I came here. You know, just more problems come from a bigger school. At this school, the kids at this school are respectful, and everyone I have met has been nice. Of course, I have a son [freshman Mac Hayes] who goes to school here as well, and he’s adjusted well. Everybody is welcoming, and all that kind of stuff. Like I said, that was all part of the environment when I interviewed here, and it’s held true. We’re really happy to be here.”

Interview by Joe Chalfant, staff member

Photo courtesy of Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co.

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