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Keeping FACS Alive: A former marine brings FACS and fitness to students in Virginia

promoting-facs-guideThis summer Learning ZoneXpress has been asking teachers how they are keeping FACS Alive in their classrooms and schools. We were thrilled with the response and are happy to share the stories. We would love to hear from you! Help us spread the awareness of FCS in the classroom today and share your story with us. Long live “Home Ec”!

I am the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at Spotsylvania Middle School in Spotsylvania County, VA.  I completed my 6th year during the past school year.  I love teaching FACS and simply have fun everyday with my students and use many Learning Zone Express products.  I am a retired Marine, having spent 27 years serving.  I next worked as a contractor at the Pentagon for three years, then spent two years serving the Marine Corps as a civilian employee.  In 2008, I tired of commuting in Washington D.C. traffic and decided to pursue a lifelong dream of teaching.  I completed a Career Switcher program in early 2008 and got licensed in History and Civics, Secondary Education.  Early on in this process, I realized that History teaching positions were nearly impossible to attain and looked at other options.  I took the FACS PRAXIS II exam in March, 2008 and was hired by Spotsylvania County Schools immediately.  The rest has become history.  I start my 7th year of teaching students, having fun and loving 130 kids daily in September and can’t wait for the summer to be over to get back to them.

As far as I have been able to discover, I may be the only male in the State of Virginia who teaches FACS in a middle school.  If anyone can correct me on that, I would love to know.  In six consecutive summers, Virginia Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences (VATFACS) conferences, I have not met another.  I do get lots of questions about what I teach though and genuine looks of surprise when I say what I teach and where.  I believe there is a place for athletes, particularly males, to teach FACS.  I am also certified as a Personal Fitness Trainer, run and work out daily and have completed 20 marathons and 17 half marathons in the past 9 years.  The students really look up to that and it helps me greatly with classroom management that many FACS teachers struggle with.  I hope at some point of being able to reach out to college athletes looking for teaching opportunities and encourage them to consider teaching FACS.  As I teach 6th, 7th and 8th grades, I have discovered that for many of my 6th grade students, I am their first male, non-Physical Education teacher.  They and their families always seem intrigued by my content area in a positive way.  Kind of like, “there is a man teaching that?

John Timmerman
Spotsylvania Middle School

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