Mr. Hayes – Teacher Feature
By Hutch Clarke
Our featured teacher for this week is Mr. Hayes, one of our Biology teachers here at Edmonds-Woodway. He teaches IB Biology with Mr. Millette and occasionally teaches freshman Biology with Mr. Fillman.
Hutch: To start out, how have you been doing so far? Anything you’ve been doing to keep your head on straight for the past seven months?
Mr. Hayes: I’ve been doing fine. I have a tiny house but I’m fortunate enough to have a nice backyard. It’s what attracted me to my house in the first place, so in the summertime I just go out there and sit in the lounge chair. I played a lot of games like bocce, badminton, and ladder ball – Oh, and some basketball with my son, since he’s home from college. We started off with a whole bunch of Around the Worlds, but we switched over to 1v1 when he realized I was pretty darn good at it. We’re a lot more equal in that format.
Hutch: Did you play basketball on a team as a kid or are you just picking it up?
Mr. Hayes: I was never on a school team. I mostly played at community centers, but I lived across from an elementary school with a single hoop that always had a few people playing, so I got most of my practice there. Basketball was my one sport. I’m not much of a runner, I’m very slow, but I was a good shooter.
Hutch: This question is odd, but I liked it cause you have to think about your answer: If you had to include one past student in your will, who would you choose?
Mr. Hayes: Well, there’s one student I’ve kept in touch with longer than any others. His name is Taiyo Sigawa. He’s come back to guest speak for my class a couple times and his sister was even my son’s student teacher in 2nd grade. Out of all the students I’ve gotten closest to, in terms of after graduation, it would be him. He also gave me a new title. I had my make-believe title of Admiral Hayes for a long time, but I told him I was in need of a new title. He was the speaker at graduation that year and that’s when he unleashed my new title: The Juggernaut. He said he chose it because when I lecture, nothing stops me. He said he shouted out my name at the top of his lungs in class one time and I still kept pushing ahead.
Hutch: What do you think were some outstanding traits that made him stick out in your mind that other students can take notes on?
Mr. Hayes: It was mainly his personality. I can’t list all of the traits off the top of my head, but he was the one who kept in touch with me. Some other students have spoken at the end of the IB year when we can be more flexible with our time, but Taiyo has come in around 3 times for all of my classes, not just the IB Biology class.
Hutch: Do you ever wish you could teach something else or, if not, do you wish you could go more in depth into a topic in Bio?
Mr. Hayes: I’m actually endorsed to teach social studies, including classes like Psychology, Art History and the like. I actually took an Art History class at the community college 4 or 5 years ago, so while I’m certainly not qualified to teach it with one class under my belt, if I had to teach something other than something in the field of science it would be that. I like museums and paintings, mostly European art from the Renaissance, so it would be really fun to teach. In terms of science, I like the niche that I’m in. My college background is pretty well rounded across all the sciences, but Biology is where I have the most passion.
Hutch: I know you don’t have any freshmen classes this year, but is there any advice you’d give to freshmen thinking about taking an IB or high level science in the future?
Mr. Hayes: My best advice I could give is to have good mental health. I don’t like to play the exclusion game and anyone who wants to step up to the plate should absolutely try, but from my experience, having good mental health really helps. Stuff happens out of the blue for no reason and you could be an incredible student and have something severe pop out of nowhere, which can really make the full IB curriculum hard. If you’re thinking about doing partial IB, I would say choose the couple classes you’re strong in and passionate about; it will make the ride a lot less busy. If you’re going for the full diploma, I’d recommend having some skills and going in with good mental health as I said before. You don’t have to be a perfect student to succeed in IB so long as you have the drive and a strong mental and emotional foundation.
Hutch: You already mentioned you were a basketball kid for most of school, did you do anything else like play an instrument or something?
Mr. Hayes: I did, I played trumpet from 5th grade to 8th and I took private lessons in 9th, after that I didn’t really pursue it much. I would lose the muscle tone in my lips so quickly. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably choose to play percussion or piano, something where you can go a week without playing and still be able to play. I remember one time I had a solo and since I was a dumb kid, I decided to not practice a few days before it and I butchered the high notes. Those high notes always got me. It was definitely fun though and I think it was good for me as a kid, the band experience was enjoyable but I would definitely choose something different.
Hutch: I guess to wrap it up, is there one memorable story you have on hand from when you were in high school?
Mr. Hayes: Well I went to two different schools. The one I would’ve liked to stay at, Queen Anne High School, closed due to budget cuts. I remember there was a party before it was closed with vendors and memorabilia. I bought a big art print of the school there. After that I went to Franklin High School and there were a lot of great teachers and people there. The most memorable day from that school was graduation day for me. Everyone was so nice to each other that day, but it made me wonder why it took till the end of school to get to that point. Those two days still stick out to me.