BY KIAYA SECHREST – Editor-in-Chief
The first day I met Mr. Zach Musser was two years ago in my 10th grade English class. Here he came in the form of a teacher, who’s first request for the class was to draw a pig on a piece of paper, “any way you want to.”
Despite our confusion and questions, Mr. Musser waited patiently while we all finished our pig masterpieces (some better than others), and eventually revealed the purpose of drawing in an English class.
He explained to us that these were actually personality pigs that may or may not reveal something about each of our personalities; for example, if the pig was drawn more towards the top of the page the artist may have been more optimistic, towards the bottom they may have been more pessimistic, and if it was centered they might have been considered a realist. For the rest of that trimester my personality pig, along with the rest of the class’s, were proudly displayed on the wall inside Mr. Musser’s classroom, possibly revealing an inner truth about each of us.
Today, I see Mr. Musser with a laptop in hand literally everywhere he goes, supposedly working on a very important task. Luckily, the Technology Coach was able to spare a few minutes between fighting off the Internet zombies.
CT: Where did you grow up?
Musser: I grew up in Palmyra.
CT: What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?
Musser: Hm… Play capture the flag across the whole neighborhood, for sure.
CT: What high school did you attend?
Musser: Palmyra High School.
CT: What was your favorite subject growing up?
Musser: Well, in elementary school I really liked science, and I wanted to be a scientist until probably going into high school, but then when I took Chemistry and Physics and there was so much math involved, I hated both of those subjects. I always liked English though.
CT: How long were you a teacher?
Musser: This is my tenth year, so I taught nine years and then switched to this.
CT: Where did you go to college and what did you study?
Musser: I went to Millersville. I got my Bachelor’s of Science and Education in English/ Language Arts.
CT: Did you take any other classes to reach the position you’re in now?
Musser: Well, I took a Classroom Technology Master’s degree through Wilkes University. Right now I’m taking my Instructional Technology degree through Wilkes as well. So all those classes are really focused on what I’m doing right now, which is Technology support.
CT: What do you do on a daily basis now as a Technology Coach?
Musser: On a daily basis I spend probably equal time either here or at the middle school and I divide my time between just teacher’s preps, talking with them about planning and how they can use different technologies, or what they want to do, or how things are going in their room with hybrid teaching. Then I also spend some time actually in the classrooms, just kind of observing the kids and the teacher and writing up notes and giving feedback. Any spare time I spend troubleshooting technology issues.
CT: Is there something you miss most about teaching?
Musser: I miss the relationships with the students really. It was strange this year not getting to know eighty or a hundred new kids. You kind of see students a little differently in this position, and they see you differently, and it’s nice in one way in that they’re willing to share with you a little more, if they don’t know you as a teacher, you know you’re not the hammer, the disciplinarian, so they kind of open up with you from time to time. But you don’t get to know them as well.
CT: Is there something about teaching that you’re glad you don’t have to deal with anymore?
Musser: (smiling) Grading.
Although there never ended up being a Dr. Musser the Mad Scientist, we should all be a little thankful for Mr. Musser the English teacher, and now Technology Coach.
Because the Technology Coach job is currently only a one-year position, there are multiple possibilities for where he might end up next year. Whether in the classroom as a teacher or an advisor, Mr. Musser is sure to add life, and a little bit of insight, to any role he is in.