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New Faces, Same Place: Ethan Andres

Serena Fincher, Staff Writer

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Q: What were your first impressions of everything and everyone? How did you’re first day go?

A: Well I graduated here seven years ago, so the school didn’t surprise me. It’s pretty much exactly the way I remember it. Even the school food is the same. I usually get pretty nervous about things, but I did my best to just dive right in.  When supervising commons, right away we have all the students that are in study hall. Including anyone who is supposed to be in silent study hall or open-campus students. For the first day sixth and seventh hour were seventy something students and eighth hour was ninety something students. Right away it was a little overwhelming.

Q: Can you tell me about your college education, or teaching journey?

A: I graduated here 2010, and then I went to college in UW Whitewater for a degree in Media Arts and Game Development [with an] emphasis in communication, minor in database structures and web design. Went there for five years, did really well, received honors and got a couple 4.0’s in there. When I graduated I decided to make my own independent game development company which I still work on, but this is something I saw – my mother works here actually, she’s the AAP teacher, so she knew I was kinda looking for a side job to help pay some of the bills. She knew I did really well with teenagers and kids and this kind of situation. A job openings came open for paraprofessional and I thought I’d go ahead and apply for it. Sure enough I got it.

Q: I hear you are from West Salem? How is West Salem different as a teacher from a student?

A: The teacher’s are on a first name basis now, I’m their colleague, so I have a little bit different relationship with them. You have keys to places which is kind of nice. I think one of the most interesting things about it is that, growing up here and noticing things haven’t really changed that much. I mean there’s computers, there’s smart phones, so that’s different. Overall you kind of know what the students are thinking when they do something. It’s just a very interesting perspective, because you knew you were in their shoes at some point. [Plus] when they think that you don’t know, you do know. They won’t know that you know until they’re that age too. It’s just a lot of irony getting thrown back and forth.

Q:  What is your teaching style, or philosophy in the teaching position you chose?

A: Well I don’t teach a whole lot here. I do have students that ask for help, or I give advice to certain things. I had a kid who wanted to buy a guitar, or a kid was putting in sub movers in his car and I was like, make sure you do this and this. I guess I’m a little bit more practical of a teacher, I’m only there out of necessity for teaching. I’m more of an advice teacher. I don’t like giving kids the answers, but I like showing them how to get the answer, asking them questions. Because I do know that they probably do know, they’re just not asking the right questions. It’s kind of like doing a Google search, the answer is there you just don’t know how to type in the right key words and know where to find it. I found learning is a lot like that.

Q: What do you do outside of school?

A: I work on my game company which is called The Ambient Beard. I work on a video game that we’re working on that is called Claim, it’s been in production for about a year. I also make YouTube videos, and I live stream. I make apparel, so I make t-shirts and stuff for some people. I write music, so musical scores for videos. I’ve worked with a college to make something that was supposed to replace the chemistry safety video. We were making a game for it. I help my parents once in awhile. They’re painting a porch right now, so I’m helping them with that. I also take care of the puppy.

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New Faces, Same Place: Ethan Andres