Brian Pope is teaching U.S. history to seventh graders at RVMS and global studies to eighth graders this school year, but if his original career plan had unfolded he might not have been in education at all.
Not everyone has the same passion for history Brian Pope has.
The new RVMS social studies teacher knows and accepts that reality.
So, when seventh and eighth graders walk into his classroom Pope does his best to make history and geography as interesting as possible.
Pope is teaching U.S. history to seventh graders at RVMS and global studies to eighth graders this school year, but if his original career plan had unfolded he might not have been in education at all.
The 2003 high school graduate from Pierre, S.D. went off to college at the Moorhead campus of Min-nesota State University where he started out with the idea of getting a degree in journalism.
When Pope decided that was not his niche, he opted for something that better suited his interests and abilities.
“I have always liked working with kids,” said Pope, adding that coupled with his love for history meant getting a degree in social studies education the perfect match.
Pope got his first teaching job in 2010 at a small school in North Dakota in the community of Medina.
There he spent three years working with students in Grades 7-12 teaching just about everything.
Wanting to focus more on a few subjects, Pope opted to pursue a new job and ended up as an educator at RVMS.
He said things have been going very well in his new position, and he likes the fact that he is able to focus just on those two areas as he works with students.
Pope said it was also the influence of a great group of teachers in his own life who helped guide his career decision, especially those who taught in his subject area.
“I had two history teachers who were my favorite in school,” he said. “Not only were they great teachers, they were great people. The made you feel like you were not really in school, but at the same time you were learning from them.”
Pope said he is not the type of educator who just puts information on the board and expects his students to copy it down.
Pope said he never enjoyed that when he had to do it in school, and so he does not do it in his classes, either.
While he recognizes not every student who enters his class is excited to be there every day what Pope hopes is that he can create an atmosphere in his classroom where students have a re-spect for what they are studying.
As far as he knows, Pope is the first in his family to be involved in education.
As a teacher, Pope said he takes bits and parts of those teachers from his past who had a positive influence on him and uses them in his teaching style.
“You can’t emulate someone else exactly,” he said. “What I like to do is take what I think were their best parts as teachers and use that – making it my own.”
In his past education experience, Pope said he did coach with the baseball program and said when it comes to that part of school in-volvement he is keeping his options open.
Pope said he re-called coaching kids in high school and enjoying that experience. That also convinced him to get involved in the lives of students as an educator.
“I wanted to impact kids’ lives,” he said, add-ing he believes being a teacher means filling a worthwhile role and do-ing something in the end you can be proud of.
When he is not in school, Pope enjoys being in the outdoors. He also likes to be involved in sports.