If you were to read our previous article, “Teacher of the Month (January)”, then you may know that this article is the newest addition of a series of articles dedicated to one teacher of ANS every month, with the purpose of knowing more about these teachers, not as your every day learners, but as every day people. This month we have chosen, Biology, AP Biology, and Forensics teacher, Dr. Martin Casco, so let’s get to it.
To know more about Dr Casco, we asked him about his personal life, including where he’s from, and what brought him to Nicaragua.
Dr Casco was born in Nicaragua, but was raised in the United States, and has traveled all over Latin America, having lived in more than 40 separate homes. He then lived in Japan where he taught for sometime, and a few years ago he came back to Nicaragua. The reason he returned is actually about a project he has been working on ever since he returned to Nicaragua involving salamanders at Mombacho, and their regenerative abilities. He also intended to give back to the Nicaraguan community by contributing to research, since science is not a strong subject in the country.
The thing is, he didn’t always want to be a teacher/researcher, he previously wanted to be a doctor, but after a year of studying medicine, he decided that he wanted to be a researcher, as it allowed him to do two things that he enjoyed: which was teaching and researching.
Dr. Casco also has two kids: Aliyah, who is currently in K-4 here at ANS, and was born in Japan, and Alecia, who is currently 14 months old, and was born in Nicaragua.
To know more about Dr. Casco’s personal interests, we asked him about his own thoughts and opinions on different subjects. His favorite movie is “The Count of Monte Cristo”, his favorite TV shows are “Rick and Morty”, and the new “Star Trek”.
When asked about his side on the feud between Gif and Jif, he responded with Gif. His favorite music is 70s to 90s rock, Metal, and Hip-Hop. Finally, when asked about his opinions on the world, he thinks that people should be careful with misinformation, especially related to the Coronavirus.
Even though the point of this article is to know more about teachers, we wanted to still learn about his experiences as a teacher, including his favorite part about teaching, and what he hopes aspiring teachers know before they take upon this job.
As a teacher, Dr. Casco doesn’t hope to create A-Students, but instead, he hopes to create students who are able to self-learn, and for these students to have a new analytical perspective on the world. His favorite part about teaching is challenging students to do tasks that they don’t think they are able to do, and end up being able to do these tasks. He believes it allows them to know their strengths, and allows them to know that it is possible to do anything you think is impossible if you believe in yourself, while his least favorite part of teaching being, Lab Cleaning. Finally, his advice for aspiring teachers is, that they know that the job is not something anyone can do, it is a job that requires a lot of planning, and commitment, so you have to have a lot of patience.
We know about Dr. Casco’s opinions, personal life, and his views of being a teacher, but what is his personality like? His pet peeves include, students asking to do something the first 15 minutes of class, students leaving a classroom a mess, and having students sending him emails one day before the summative at 11:30pm.
His hobbies include hiking, jogging, sports, crafting, and tinkering. When asked what genre he classifies his life as, he answered with Sci-Fi.
Finally, when asking if he is an introvert and extrovert, he answered with both, he says when he is comfortable around people he is an extrovert, but if he is surrounded by people he doesn’t know he would be introverted.
To know more about how he is as a person, we asked him “philosophical” questions to know his way of life, including his favorite color, and what keeps him up at night. His favorite color is, Black, which he describes as an elegant, formal, and sharp color, that at the same time can be really cool. While, his least favorite color is tied between, Neon Orange, and Neon Green, which he warns people to stay away from. What keeps him up at night is actually a bad habit he says he has, which is, waking up in the middle of the night to check if the doors and windows are locked.
Finally, when asked about the meaning of life, he gave an interesting answer. He believes the meaning of life is, the ability to make mistakes and learn from them, be humble, and to be a better person than you were yesterday. He also believes that humans should have a sense of looking out for each other, since humans have too much of a sense of individualism.
To gain a better understanding of Dr. Casco, we asked him a few personalized questions about his thoughts on the world, his personal achievements, and some of his favorite things. He told us his greatest accomplishment in his personal life was being able to take care of his family, and being there for them and that his greatest accomplishment professionally was his growth mentality and ability to improve as an individual. According to him, the worst day of the week is Monday. He loves salamanders and he relates to animals who are curious about the world like him. If he could change one thing about the world, he said he would get rid of borders.
For a closer glimpse into Dr. Casco’s life, we asked him to describe his most disappointing experience. This experience was when somebody stole Dr. Casco’s zebrafish. At first, he thought it was a joke, but as the days passed by and the fish still didn’t come back, he realized that somebody had taken it. He told us that he likes everybody in the school, from the students to the maintenance staff, and that the fact that somebody just decided to steal something important to him bothered him immensely.