The long years of teaching: Ladue’s veteran staff members

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Some people wish high school lasted longer. Imagine returning to the place you visited every day for four years to sit in the same seats you sat in 20 years prior. For teachers like Adam Durham and Jonathan Robbins, high school lasts forever.

Though these alums are at the same school as they were years ago, there are still quite a few changes from back then.

“Obviously, I mean, the brand new school is incredible. The technology with just the construction is amazing, and the difference in just the building makes a huge impact on the student’s learning,” Durham said.

The complete renovation of the high school is a big factor contributing to the differences between then and now. Students have a better learning environment, with all new classrooms. Art teachers, like Robbins now have greater facilities, some being the best in America.

“Ladue’s always had, like, the best technology, but now its completely new. The old studio was one of the best studios in the United States, and the new one’s even better. Not any high school has a ceramics studio with this much technology. This is really college-level, and you can say that about many of the other art facilities,”  Robbins said.

Along with the many modern and updated facilities, the building is built accustomed to kids today. The school now circles around the technology, with specific rooms like the teleconference room and the airplay systems set up each classroom.

“I mean cell phones, like people having cellphones in class, and videos, and music and internet capabilities, we didn’t have that. Being able to have a computer and have the whole internet at you fingertips is just, well, it’s amazing. It’s a huge positive for education,” Durham said.

With Google Classroom, students do not even have to be in class to have the notes, or see what material was covered. All the homework is online, and all the textbooks are downloaded to the computers. In addition to the structural differences in the building, these formers students have recognized the difference in perspective between students and teachers.

“I think seeing the big picture [is one of the biggest differences between being a student and being a teacher.] Teachers live in the working world vs. some students kind of just see school as busy work in time, whereas as a teacher, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Durham said.

Students minds usually run day by day. Each new day presents a new challenge. The average high school student isn’t thinking about how what they learn on a specific day will alter the rest of their life. Teachers are able to picture that final goal; the big picture of education. Both teachers started by living their lives day by day, doing what they love. Durham was a very athletic student and coaching was one of the biggest reasons why he came back. For Robbins, it was art.

“I actually, really liked coaching, coaching is what got me into coaching. I really enjoyed working with kids, but I thought teaching would be a better profession,” Durham said.

Ladue helped Durham and Robbins realize what they wanted to do in life at a young age, leading them to come back and live their high school dream for the rest of their lives.

“I enjoy teaching in general, but specifically at ladue because of the student population and the fun yet academic relationships I can build with them.  Also the support of my fellow teachers, students parents, and administration is unmatched anywhere else,” Durham said