John Simone, MAT `2009, was named Hamden’s 2014 Middle School Teacher of the Year. He is now in the running for Hamden’s Teacher of the Year. Congratulations and good luck John.
John always knew he wanted to help others. Initially he majored in Sports Medicine at QU, but found that it was not what he was looking for, so he switched to Education and found his niche. A Hamden Middle School Math teacher, John is truly connected to his students and is a very compassionate human being. Part of this stems from John’s passion for teaching children and the rest stems from his experiences as a student himself. John says he struggled with homework and often needed help learning in non-traditional ways. His experiences assist him when he is trying to meet the needs of many students, some who struggle like he did. John’s favorite saying? “Perpetuate the American dream, educating America’s dreamers.”
Although John tends to be on the shy side, he pushes beyond and is involved in both school and community leadership. He coaches baseball, chaperones ski trips, helps with soccer and track and is part of the SAILS program, a program for helping students achieve success. In the community he is involved with the Hamden Heroes Relay for Life Team, coaches a town baseball team and participates in food drives.
John said that his experiences in the MAT program helped him to be the teacher he is today. He said that being in the classroom from the junior year and working with caring and knowledgeable education professors were key. He has some advice for students currently in the MAT program:
1) Be confident and really know your content.
2) Make sure your lessons are culturally relevant.
3) Not every lesson will reach every student on the first try. Just don’t give up trying.
4) Stay away from negative people; stay positive.
5) Tell yourself you are not stressed, just busy