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Penguins January Teacher of the Month!

Congratulations Mr. Joseph Quast on being the Penguins January Teacher of the Month! 

What grade/subject do you teach and how long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 14 years, all of which have been in 4th grade. I currently teach Science and Social Studies at South Park Elementary Center, though it has varied from year to year. 

Who in your life inspired you to become a teacher?

Mr. Bowen, Mr. English, Mrs. Weber, and Dr. Remington are a few teachers that made an impact on me, but there were many others along the way. I would also say that my mom inspired me to become a teacher, as it was a career that she once considered, in addition to the fact that she was just a great teacher for me growing up. Finally, my wife inspires me everyday to try to the be the best that I can be, not just at teaching, but at everything!

How are you using Hockey Scholar in your classroom? 

Each spring, as playoff time approaches, my classroom has a “tailgate party.” Each student has a ticket, and we have nachos and watch “In the Room.” It is the kickoff to our Hockey Scholar unit. The skills and concepts in the program are a tremendous presentation of material that is on the science and math standardized tests that the students take around that time. They are preparing themselves, but they don’t fully realize it because they have so much fun with the program. I like to trick them and make them think that they are only just having fun, but really they are learning (shhh….don’t tell them)!

What was your students’ reaction to the course? Did they enjoying learning STEM with the Penguins?

This spring will be my third or fourth year using Hockey Scholars, and there hasn’t been a year yet that the students didn’t love the program. Even the more challenging sections of the program are enjoyed because the kids feel even more rewarded when they finally grasp the concepts and complete the games. Making a connection to the Penguins and hockey really makes it fun for the kids, even those that don’t normally follow hockey. It definitely brings out a competitive side in many of the kids, too!

What is your favorite hockey movie?

With all due respect to “Sudden Death,” which was filmed here in Pittsburgh, I would have to say that “Miracle” is my favorite hockey movie.

If you played hockey, would you rather be the goalie or a goal scorer? Why?

I do play hockey (poorly) in an adult league. I would rather be the goal scorer so that I could score a goal on one of my closest friends, who is a goalie. He knows who he is, and he knows I can.