Mr. Morris: The Madly Talented Education Magician

By: Nathalie Alejandro-OwlFeed

Follow me on Twitter: @journalismnat

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Mr. Morris goes above and beyond to provide a quality education for his students.

“Working with kids was always easy,” says Mr. Morris. He studied elementary and special education at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

In his college days at Gannon University, he remembers seeing an ad to teach a 5-year-old how to play sports. “The kid never spoke to me for about 2 weeks,” Mr. Morris said.

The initial thought was that maybe it was him, or maybe the kid was just very quiet. However, Mr. Morris discovered a very peculiar truth.

“Later on, I found out that he had Autism,” he said to me. “For two years I worked with him and I basically learned everything I know about Autism and dealing with behavior.” Doing the mental math, Mr. Morrison notices, “It’s kind of scary that he’s 22 right now.  Means I am getting old”

Mr. Morris started his career path teaching regular education but experiencing this life altering scenario, he changed his major to special education. Of course, this comes with some difficulties, but Mr. Morris breezes through it by “being able to communicate effectively and getting your point across.”

Mr. Morris’s favorite part of teaching is “being able to interact with students.” In his career field, he has acknowledged that many people do not understand how to communicate with special needs students. “From the outside looking in, you would think they are very difficult to get to know, but I like pushing the right buttons so students can learn how to have positive interactions with others.”

He also has a different perspective. “My approach has always been as the ‘big brother,’” he says.“I like to tease them so that my students get an age appropriate interaction. My students are teenagers and want to have an opportunity to participate in teenage activities.”  With this, Mr. Morris hopes he has made a positive impact on his students.

Mr. Morris reaffirms, “Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Treat special needs students like anyone else you know.” He goes on to explain, “Once you get to know them, you’re able to gain a stronger understanding of who they are.” Mr. Morris is also willing to help out anyone looking to build a better relationship with these amazing, unique kids.

A little bit into the personal life of Mr. Morris: he proudly repeats, as he always does in class, that he has “twin boys that are crazy.”

Not only does he go above and beyond with teaching his students, Mr. Morris makes sure journalism runs smoothly. He spearheads the @AguaFriaOwlsHS and @owlsportscenter Twitter pages, making sure the Agua Fria family is constantly informed on all things Agua Fria. Mr. Morris expresses that he enjoys “being in both worlds,” since they “both have huge benefits.”

To Mr. Morris #BeAnOwl means, “A huge amount of pride in the school, the students, and the staff.” Mr. Morris enjoys that “the people here don’t allow the negative opinions about the school to affect them in any way.”

I would have continued interviewing Mr. Morris, but of course, there was no way we could stay serious for any longer with my teasing sense of humor and his snappy attitude.