Sylvester Stan

Carley Hutson, Journalist

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Eric Sylvester may appear like any other world history and economics teacher, but by stepping into his classroom students make their way into a welcoming environment for teenagers of all personalities.

 

Sylvester’s self deprecating sense of humor eases the anxiety of everyday school to create a place of education that allows everyone to laugh and have a little fun.

 

To create such an environment in a high school filled with hormonal teenagers dealing with drama and other unfortunate events in their lives is huge, and admittedly, not always easy.

 

Sylvester realizes every student has something they’re carrying around with them, a burden on their shoulders that doesn’t automatically go away when they enter the building.

 

He knows it’s hard for students to shout out answers and share what they’re really thinking about the material being taught and from the very beginning of the year shares with his students, “There is no wrong answer.”

 

Though he understands this doesn’t immediately appease the nerves of introverted teens, he knows exactly how to do it.

 

Sylvester recognizes that he himself is not perfect at everything, and makes jokes about it. “I’m a goofball who is very much okay with comedic relief and being bad at stuff. I don’t mind being bad at things and being self deprecating,” he said.

 

To him, one of the most important parts of his job is making a connection with his students. It all boils down to making the student feel understood and welcomed in his classroom.

 

 “I think a lot of teachers were probably really good at school and were put your head down straight A kind of kids, and I was not,” he explained, commenting on his understanding of high schoolers. “I just hope I can be approachable enough and transparent enough that students will know I generally understand what you’re going through being a kid. Because yeah, high school sucks sometimes.”