Ben Byersdorfer, Peet Junior High School

Position: 7th-9th grade Band

Years Teaching: 13 years

Hobbies/Interests: My wife, Ann, and I love the great American road trip. Listening to inspiring music, camping, fishing, hiking, building fires, and staring at the night sky are all my favorite things that never get old.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy how truly meaningful this career has been and always will be. To have been given this purposeful opportunity to live and learn right alongside the brilliant students and adults in this profession is second to none. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive.

What do you find most challenging about teaching? Similar to anything else this fragile and worthwhile, there are triumphs and heartbreaks along the way. Consistently seeing the big picture and the greater meaning behind the work we do is a challenge especially since we often find ourselves wrapped up in the smallest moments of the day.

Best tip for new teachers: On that day that you find yourself caught in the middle of a rainstorm with seemingly no way out, understand that just as quickly you will turn around and bask in the sunshine of what is the best day of your career.

Best tip for career teachers: Remember precisely what person brought you to this career. Now go fearlessly and be that person for somebody else.

Favorite piece of advice for students: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: This award for me personally says that I have come full circle as a teacher with the purpose to serve others. I don’t want to imagine where I would be right now without the teachers in my life. To these people and to this profession I owe everything.

Watch Ben Byersdorfer’s Gold Star Video here!