The Outlet: Eric Adzima

In this issue’s recurring segment that gives students an opportunity to learn more about the teachers they see every day, staffer Gowri Abhinanda interviews American History and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) European History teacher Eric Adzima.

What inspired you to become a teacher?


I have always had members of my family that were teachers, so I was born into the profession. From an early age, I was told I would be good at it, and I have always liked academia and working with children.

What interests do you pursue out of the classroom?

[Out of the classroom, I am interested in] music. I’m a big musician. I just cut a third album, Landfill Novelties, and that is what I do with my spare time. I also follow my eight-year-old around.

How has music influenced your life?

Music has influenced my life because of musical appreciation, my love for music and wanting to be involved in something that speaks to me. Writing music helps me focus on the world around me in a different way. I tend to zero in on things in music because I want to express myself in such a way where I can communicate easily. It’s shown me to rethink things.

How have any students impacted your teaching?

I have had many great students that have rewarded my efforts and made me feel like I am accomplishing things. [On the other hand,] I have some students that have given me a hard time; [this has been] a challenge, but they made me figure out how to do things better, such as getting a point across to them which will be important. [The students have] all kinds of personalities. Just like in the real world, you have to bend and flex and make sure you are doing right by a lot of different people. It makes you a better person.

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?

Every time students write to me and tell me the class has affected them and [that they have] taken the things they have learned in class and used it in the real world, it makes me feel really good.

What would you like your students to take away from your class?

[I want my students to learn] hard work. These classes are not easy. If you want to achieve something, you have to put a lot of effort into it. I want them to take away appreciation for where they come from and their culture. If they are from my American history class, I want them to take away appreciation from their heritage.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is if you do not get something, keep plugging away. Keep working hard. Reinforcement. Reinforcement.

What are your goals and expectations in and out of school this year?

This year I would like to increase my passing rates for my Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) European history class. I would like [my students] to do really well on the test this year. Outside of school, I would like to write the greatest song ever written.

What is your personal outlook on the institution of education and some advice for students out there?

Schools should not be looked at as some boring jumble of courses that you need to survive to succeed; it should be something to enjoy as much as possible. You do not get a whole lot of years in your life to spend with no other reason than to educate yourself. I understand school has a role in preparing you for a potential career, but school and education make you better and well-rounded. Enjoy it while you can and work as hard as you can to be the very best that you can. [It is] pretty simple.

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