Pittsburgh Penguins Teacher Highlight and Most Valuable Teacher February Nominee!

Future GoalsTM Program

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Pittsburgh Penguins Teacher Highlight and Most Valuable Teacher February Nominee!


Eileen Joll


East Allegheny Jr/Sr High School - East Allegheny School District

Classroom Team:

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I remember playing teacher as a kid. I guess I was inspired by my own teachers. When I went to college, I started to major in something else but I was drawn back to teaching. I guess it has always been in my soul and was what I was meant to do. I have never regretted the decision and I love teaching middle schoolers!!! They are at an age where they want to learn and can get excited about understanding their world. I love being able to excite them with new experiences and challenging them to think in new ways.

What has been your most memorable moment as a teacher?

Every year brings a new group of students, new challenges, and new adventures. There have been competitions, science fairs, field trips, and extracurricular events that have all been very exciting. Every year has its own memories and to pick one is impossible. But, in general, my best memories are when students learn something about themselves, when I can see the lightbulb go off and they get it, and when they find out they have a passion for something I have taught and end up studying it further. Seeing students grow individually and educationally and to know that I have been a part of that is the best feeling.

What is your favorite part of Future Goals and how are you using it in your classroom?

I love everything about Future Goals but I especially like that it is game oriented as that helps to keep the student’s attention. The students who love hockey are easily engaged, but even those that aren’t hockey fans buy in to it because of the games. Since I teach an introduction to physics, many of the Future Goals in both Math and Science support my curriculum. Sometimes I will use the activities as in introduction to the lessons, but usually I use it as a review and another way for the students to hear and experience, the material. Much of the material is what is tested on our state tests so sometimes we will replay the games right before testing time as a review. The students don’t mind playing the games again and the application to a life situation helps them to retain the information better.

What was your student’s reaction to the program?

There are a lot of online games and activities available. Initially, my students are often reluctant to engage in another one because they expect it to be boring. After the first activity I get responses like “that was so much fun” or “that was really cool”. They don’t complain when the next one is assigned because they know it will be something they will enjoy and I know it is something that will challenge them. 

Who is your favorite player?

My favorite all time player was/is Mario Lemieux. He came to Pittsburgh when the team was not very good and has been an strong influence on the team as a player, captain, and now owner, ever since. His attitude, ethics, and humbleness are reflected through the club and into the community. Favorite current players include Crosby, Guentzel, Malkin, and Letang. These guys play hard and give 110%. They are also good role models for students with their actions and work ethics on and off the ice.