Middle School Math, Science, and PE Teacher at Immanuel Lutheran School in Alexandria, VA
Nominated by: Whitney W.
“Mr. Schultz inspires a genuine love of learning in his students as he brings subjects to life on a daily basis. Each week, he engages students in a discussion on the beauty of numbers. Starting with a quote about mathematics or numbers, he gets students thinking and discussing concepts and ideas outside of the textbook, pushing them to think bigger and explore broader mathematical concepts and ideas.
His energy and passion for math and science is contagious, inspiring students and parents alike to see the beauty in these subjects. Mr. Schultz is an incredible teacher and mentor to his students, but more importantly, he is a huge community-builder for the school.”
“Inspire students to love learning, and then a student’s love for learning will be its own motivation.”
Q&A with Aaron Schultz
What originally got you interested in teaching?
I can still remember when I was in third grade, and my teacher, Miss Anderson, asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. “Teacher,” I responded confidently. Beyond that, however, I’ve had plenty of influences: my dad was a teacher for over twenty years before becoming a principal and then superintendent, and my seventh and eighth grade teacher (combined class) was a true role model of mine.
Why do you think teachers are important?
Alongside the parents, a teacher is responsible for instilling virtue and a love for learning in a student. Teaching is more than grading papers or helping students to learn an algorithm. To enter into the vocation of teaching is to care for and nurture each pupil’s intellectual, physical and spiritual well-being.
What’s your funniest teaching moment?
A couple of years back, I gave my students the assignment of creating their own math rap song. The students performed these songs in class. Some of the raps were quite good; others were nothing short of hilarious.
What makes you excited to go into your school each day?
I mean this with complete sincerity—my students bring me true joy. They make each school day worthwhile. I teach to serve them. And I am genuinely humbled to teach in a school with such stellar people. From our pastor to our school’s headmaster to the individual teachers, each person has a true love for serving his neighbor.
What are three things you use in your classroom everyday and could never live without?
My lesson plan book (keeps me organized and my day structured), math logic puzzle books (never leave home without them), and pistachios (my power snack)!
What advice would you give to aspiring teachers?
Model a love for learning and love for the subject you instruct. That in itself will have a profound impact on your students. Love and pray for your students.
Do you have any tried and trusted ideas or activities for motivating students?
Students are motivated by a teacher’s passion. If a teacher truly loves math and loves teaching math, students begin to love it, too. Inspire students to love learning, and then a student’s love for learning will be its own motivation.