Florida Panthers February 2023 Teacher of the Month
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Matthew Laubhan and I teach 5th grade. I’ve taught for 16 years in both Michigan and Florida. I originally worked for many years in management but decided later in life I wanted to do something that not only made me happy but made a difference in the world. What I love most about teaching is watching the growth of my students as the year progresses and to be able to see just how much they improve makes it all worth it. I have led student groups in many ways including educational trips to Kennedy Space Center, drama productions and Teddy Bear drives for our local Golisano Children’s Hospital. I have been recognized for my work with the 2018 Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award and the Lighthouse Award (Teacher of the Year) for my school in 2022.
Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?
As a lifetime hockey fan I have so many. Since the Panthers are our sponsor, I’ll give my favorite Panther, Roberto Loungo. One of the greats of the game, as evidenced by his selection to the Hall of Fame. He never seemed to give up on a play and really battled. Add to that he became such leader for all his teams.
What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?
I particularly like the science side. I like how when kids are learning about force and motion they can see it in action. Then I often hear the students apply what they learned in class, and in Hockey Scholars to a sport they play and begin to see the science in the games.
If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?
For me it’s not IF I played hockey. I actually DO play hockey. I’ve played for nearly 30 years. I am usually a defenseman. I enjoy the idea of defending our net and my goalie. I ENJOY blocking shots and taking the puck away. I don’t have a great shot but it’s very gratifying to make that stretch pass to a winger and watch them score on a breakaway. I have played wing and even scored 4 goals in a game but defense is my favorite.