New high school teacher supports creativity

(Olivia Loomis) Already familiar with Shorewood, Matthews is ready to start the year.
(Olivia Loomis) Already familiar with Shorewood, Matthews is ready to start the year.

Eric Matthews will be the science departments new Integrated Science teacher, teaching all five sections of the class.

Ive been involved in a lot of things in Shorewood over the years I think Shorewood is a unique and exciting place to teach, [and] I like the culture a lot,Matthews said.

Matthews grew up in Shorewood, and is already well acquainted with the district, and looking forward to teaching here.

Im really excited to have [everything] happen in the same place: my teaching, coaching, my involvement with Watershed Wisdom,Matthews said.

In addition to teaching the Integrated Science curriculum, Matthews has other goals for the year.

I want to really work with students to get them prepared for upper level science, to equip students with the skills theyll need to be successful down the road,Matthews said. [I also want to] create an environmenta learning environmentin my classroom where kids feel motivated to be successful, [and] I want to contribute to a cool culture that is happening at Shorewood High School.

Matthews attended UW-Madison, where he got his degree in biology and environmental science and first decided he wanted to become a teacher.

I was enjoying [studying biology and ecology] and I found that really interesting I was also working with high school kids a lot at that point as a coach and as an outdoor leader, and I realized I really liked and was effective at that, so the conclusion I came to was, Hey, why dont you become a high school science teacher? That seems like a good career option,’” Matthews said.

Currently, Matthews is working on getting his masters degree in environmental education at UW-Stevens Point, and with a multitude of teaching experiences, he feels more than prepared for this job.

Ive had a lot of different experiencessome of them nontraditional teachinglike outdoor teaching, a lot of coaching, and now, several years of traditional high school teaching.

[Mr. Matthews] was a great teacher [on Watershed Wisdom] because he was able to connect everything he taught with scenarios we are familiar with today. The information stuck better because it was relevant and made for an interesting class,said Corinne Ebel, senior.

Prior to his hiring at Shorewood, Matthews taught AP biology at Wauwatosa East High School for two years.

[Wauwatosa East] was very similar to Shorewood,Matthews said. Its like twice as big1,300 kidsbut that was a great experience that I think really prepared me to be a successful teacher [at Shorewood].

“His enthusiasm about teaching and the things he’s teaching about … makes it exciting to learn from him,” said Rachel Harvey, junior.

In his free time, Matthews enjoys being outside, coaching track, playing basketball and planning and leading outdoor adventures.

I love this community [and] I want to continue to be involved in all of the things Ive been able to do over the years and grow those and look for ways to make learning great,Matthews said.

by Eli Frank

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