Brown County High School teacher and mentor, Mr. Jim McFall, has advanced to the top 10 in the selection of the Teacher of the Year for the State of Indiana.
McFall teaches Biology, Principles of Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions, and Biomedical Innovations. The BCHS staff and faculty nominated and elected Mr. McFall as the High School representative in the corporation-wide teacher of the year competition. After achieving the title ‘teacher of the year for Brown County High School’, McFall proceeded to be named teacher of the year for all Brown County Schools by the administration.
Referring to the biomedical program, McFall expresses it has, “rejuvenated my passion for teaching, I was ready for a change.” Mr. McFall used to teach at the Brown County Junior High School as the Environmental Science teacher.
McFall mentions that his classroom has adapted through the Project Lead the Way course by making his teaching style more open-ended, project-based learning, and less of a lecture-type setting. McFall describes his teaching method as an “application to the real world and its situations.” To any teacher McFall offers the advice of over preparation, “always plan for more than time allots” and he also adds, “have high standards for your students.”
“If you’re a teacher and you want to make an impact, it’s not just standing up and delivering content, it’s being prepared, knowing your stuff, knowing what you are going to do, so that you can have a deeper connection with students which then creates a better learning experience for them.”
At this point, McFall has no aspirations or plans of leaving the community to teach elsewhere and he wants to continue teaching at Brown County High School until he retires. He expresses, “this is where I raised my family, this is like home.” McFall states that he is glad that he is able to honor his parents, who were insistent on him and his brother attending college, as a first-generation college graduate.
“These kids still need someone to say, “you can do this, I care about you, I want to see you do well,” Mr. McFall said. “I consider that an honor that students can feel comfortable enough to confide in me if they are having issues or if they’re having celebrations.”
McFall said that he interviews once more on September 12th and that following his interview, the Indiana State Teacher of the Year will be announced near the end of September. Hypothetically, if McFall represents Indiana for State Teacher of the Year, he will proceed to the national level.
McFall pays his tribute to Brown County High School Staff for getting him to the state level and their support and allowing him this opportunity.