New Teacher Interview:
Mike Janke: Gym Teacher at The Mosaic School
What were your first thoughts when experiencing our unique environment?
Mr. Janke“At first I thought it was very unique, there were aspects I've never seen in a school before. I enjoy the one on one and smaller advisory periods. The advisory periods help teachers get to know students more. You don't really see that in most schools. I really think that the student involvement is good in the school. We focused the first day in school on how the school works and the students got to input on the Declaration of Education. It is unique that they are part of the process to put together the rules and regulations of the school.”
How have your ideas about education previously, either through teaching or college, changed since arriving here at IDEAS?
Mr. Janke“I feel like here I can give students more freedom because of all the things they are included in. It’s my first middle school setting, but the school tries to get more independence for the students so they can function in the real world setting. You can get more out of them, they are more capable of themselves, so you can get more out of them.”
How many years have you worked in your field of expertise?
Mr. Janke“This is my first year working. I went to school for five years at UW-Madison. (It’s the best!) But it’s my first teaching job”
What special skills do you have that make you stand out from others in your field?
Mr. Janke“I have a vast knowledge of sports. I really enjoy watching and playing sports, so I have 90% knowledge on everything I teach. Being a phy. ed. teacher is easy for me and the experiences in college range from tutoring one-on-one to being the program leader for 20 or so students. And then the other spectrum would be working one-on-one with adults with disabilities. I worked with all ages so it gave me more experience.”
Where do you plan to be with your career in 10 years?
Mr. Janke“In ten years I plan to be teaching phy. ed. somewhere, no preference on where. but I really want to be a head coach in varsity basketball.”
What do you hope to get out of the experience here?
Mr. Janke“I wish to become more familiar with the planning process of teaching, and maintain that process through the year and working with students.”
What kind of skills do you hope your students gain through your class?
Mr. Janke“I hope they gain the knowledge of a wide range of sports because I believe, in a middle school setting, that students don’t need to be masters of certain skills in sports. But if they have the knowledge and understand what's out there, I will be content with that, as well as improving skills. The focus would be the knowledge of what's out there.”
What’s one thing not many people know about you?
Mr. Janke“Not many people know I am afraid of heights and have a fear of deep water. I can swim and I understand I am safe, but the fact my feet aren’t touching the ground scares my brain.”
Isaiah Wilder, IDEAS Writing Intern