When Justin Timm graduated from Litchfield High School in 2003, he knew he was going pursue a degree in history.
He did not know several years later he would be teaching it.
Timm, who earned a degree in history from Concordia College in Moorhead, said he had a couple of very good social studies teachers in high school whose impact led him toward the study of history.
From that sparked interest, Timm saw even more success and an even greater desire to learn.
“I was seeing success and decided to just keep it going in college,” said Timm.
After earning his degree, Timm got a job, but it was not in his field of study.
“I started working at Best Buy in customer service,” he said, adding he believes that opportunity to interact with customers really helped prepare him for his future career.
It was also in that job where Timm said he started to feel a connection with teenagers.
So after working in that role, Timm opted to return to school and began pursuing a masters degree at St. Cloud State University. His field of study was history, but he admitted as he continued his education he determined he needed to find some way to work in that area of interest.
So, he decided the best option was to be a teacher.
Timm, who had been doing some coaching, said that experience helped push him in the direction of education, because he could interact with students in the classroom and he would have opportunities to continue coaching – something he said he has always been interested in pursuing.
So, Timm put his history masters degree on hold and started studying to earn another degree in education.
Timm started his teaching career in Clo-quet, which is where he had been for the past couple of years.
Budget cuts meant Timm was let go, and he began looking for a new position.
While he applied at a number of places, Timm said he really felt Redwood Falls was going to be a good fit from the beginning.
“During the interview process the professionalism really stood out,” said Timm. “I could tell this is a community that really cares about its school. That is not always evident.”
Timm is currently teaching world geography and Advance Placement government, and he said as a social studies teacher he strives to provide hands-on learning experiences for his students whenever that is possible.
“I want to get them up and moving, but that is not always a function of what we are doing,” he said, adding he really enjoys working with high school students because they are willing at times to discuss the topics being addressed in class.
Page 2 of 2 - That willingness, he said, does at times lead to questions from students he does not know the answer to, and Timm believes that is a good thing because their questions mean they are engaged in what is being taught.
This fall Timm is coaching the junior varsity football program, and he said that experience provides him with the opportunity to offer that hands-on learning style he enjoys.
“There is a lot more freedom on the field to teach and show what you are trying to teach them,” Timm said.
Timm still intends to earn his masters degree in history, and he hopes to be able to incorporate that into what he is teaching in the future.
Timm said the school year at RVHS is going well, and he is hoping to emulate in the classroom what he has learned in school and from others in education to provide what is best for students.