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Teachers of the Year: Paul Irvin
Teachers of the Year: Paul Irvin
Posted on 08/09/2018
Paul Irvin checks on a group of students who are in the middle of a discussion.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Paul Irvin brings a unique take to teaching history – he’s helped write it.

Irvin spent more than a decade in the in the Washington D.C. TV news market, where he experienced the dynamics of politics and city life. He now teaches social studies at the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (NDA).

“A lot of what we did in the news business was educate the public, so it was a pretty easy decision to move into education,” Irvin said. “I enjoy working with young people, especially high school, because the impact is often immediate.”

Irvin is NDA’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, and at the May school board meeting he was named At-Large District Teacher of the Year. He describes his teaching style as laid-back and respectful of his students’ intelligence. But at the same time, Irvin works hard to make sure his students understand context and sources when studying history.

“I want to give them the tools to think,” he said.

Former NDA Principal Nathan Allison (now principal of T.C. Roberson High School) said Irvin brings lots of hands-on activities to his classroom, like mock trials to study civics, propaganda posters to study the Cold War, and a unit on “fake news” to teach students how false information thrives on the Internet and how to spot it.

“He brings his experiences in to make it relevant to the students,” Allison said. “They know his background, enjoy his classes, and they respect him. He takes the time to build personal connections with them.”

“I love my job,” Irvin said. “It’s easy to get out of bed every day, because I love what I do.”

Irvin is one of seven classroom teachers selected as a district teacher of the year out of the 1,700 teachers in the BCS system. He and the other six district winners will be featured in an upcoming special video produced by the BCS Communications Department. One of the seven district winners will be selected as the overall BCS Teacher of the Year.

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