Teacher feature on Mr. Zimmerman


Mr. Zimmerman and his family.

Kevin Clark, Staff Writer

At which school in the district do you teach? 

I teach at the Junior High School.  I have been teaching in this school since it opened in the year 2000.  

What subject(s) do you teach?

I teach many classes which include honors biology, keystone biology, invertebrate biology, marine science, and ecology.  I also coach the varsity discus and shot put throwers at the high school.

What grade (s) do you teach? 

I taught seventh grade the first six years of my career.  Since then I have taught only ninth grade.

What’s your favorite part about teaching? 

By far the best parts of teaching are the relationships I have built with students through the years.  As each school year progresses, students gain comfort and confidence with each other and me. We share our ideas and grow in our knowledge and appreciation for, not just the content of the course, but each other.  These relationships often do not end as the school years do. I am proud to say that I am still in touch with former students from each of my years here at Stroudsburg.  Hearing from these students, learning where their paths have taken them, and knowing I may have played some role in helping them navigate those paths affirms the passion I have for teaching. These meaningful and lasting connections are among the greatest and most rewarding accomplishments in my life. 

Where did you grow up?  

I grew up in a small town about seventy miles from here called Schuylkill Haven.  Students who have been in my classroom have heard all of the fantastic and mischievous adventures of young Mr. Zimm.  Such stories include the destruction of “moon” boots, shoeboxes full of snakes, grackle catching, parakeets stuck in faux rafters, large assemblies to hear Trooper Joe, spelling bee blunders, and major deer hunting mishaps.  If you did not take my classes, feel free to pull me aside and ask at any time, I’d be happy to share my stories with anyone at any time. 

My childhood wasn’t all crazy stories, however.  I grew up in a tough and disciplined community where people knew how to work extremely hard in order to obtain goals.  It is a premise I still follow in every aspect of my life.  If you know me, you know how passionate and enthusiastic I am in the things I teach and coach.  My answer to most problems in life is work harder.  When I am coaching I try to outwork my opponent.  If I see my students are struggling in class, I work harder to develop an understanding.  Recently, when I was diagnosed with kidney failure and in need of a transplant, my attitude was to work harder with my diet and exercise to hold off the transplant as long as possible.  It is the number one quality I would like to pass on to each of my students and players, to work harder to obtain your goals.    

What college did you attend?

I had the pleasure of attending East Stroudsburg University.  I went to college undecided and had no idea what I wanted to do for a career path.  One thing I was passionate about was football and I played outside linebacker at ESU.   During my football career, I met one of the most influential people in my life, my head coach Denny Douds.  Coach Douds took a genuine interest in every player’s interests, personal life, and truly wanted to bring out the best in every one of his athletes.  He led with passion and enthusiasm.  He had the ability to explain difficult concepts well and made his players work to the best of their ability simply because we didn’t want to let our coach down. It was during this time that I decided to choose teaching as a career path.  I would model and design my teaching strategies with Coach Douds in mind.  Even now, after 22 years of teaching, I still keep Coach Douds in mind during each and every lesson I teach.