Teaching Is His Calling

Posted on May 31, 2018

Making Connections

Hopefully we all have that one teacher who stands out in our mind — the one who made a difference, the one who seemed to simultaneously get us, push us, make us want to do better; someone who makes learning fun, has fun but knows when to get serious. That teacher for hundreds of kids over the years is Drew Musser, a grade teacher at Brush Creek Elementary.

“It’s so gratifying being a teacher. The kids hit a place in your heart; it’s a pinnacle spot in development,” Drew shares. “Making a connection with kids makes all the difference.”


Drew with his history club, showing off their wampum belts they made.

He adds that teaching, making connections, inspiring youth, is his calling but it took him a while to make his way into the classroom. He worked in the business world for 13 years, even tinkered with the idea of becoming a lawyer. But, really, the world doesn’t need another lawyer, it needs a strong male influence in the world of teaching. The calling to become a teacher was persistent, and lucky for the students, he listened.

“You could say that my life needed more meaning and purpose. So, I pursued my teaching license and never looked back. It has been my greatest decision and one that has truly grounded me,” he says.

He’s one of those teachers who makes learning fun while teaching respect and responsibility. The kids can have a blast—rock out to music from the ’80s, but they also know when it’s time to buckle down and focus. Fun can be part of learning but sometimes it has to go on the back burner.

“I try to have fun and goofing around but then tell them, ‘You got to get serious here,’ [I ask them to] give me your best effort rather. I’d rather have them learn now when there’s low consequences in life.”
He adds thoughtfully that he worries about the the kids who don’t seem to understand the importance of hard work. Sure, knowing all the U.S. capitals in fourth grade is important but it’s the lessons he’s instilling today that have a long-term impact.

“I want them to realize that life, as much as I love them all, the world doesn’t center around you; you have to shine and put yourself forward and follow rules, sometimes you can be goofy and silly and sometimes you have to bear down.”

The more culture changes, the more technology is part of kids’ lives, the harder it is to get kids to focus and the more there is to worry about and be wary about. Kids, he says, have a distorted sense of reality and he tries to ground them as much as possible.

Drew tends to hang around after school too. His fourth-grade history club had a wait list. Yes, a wait list for an afterschool club about history. He’s tough but for a reason. Kids have to know their states and capitals — no abbreviations but years later kids can rattle off all sorts of facts.

Beyond the Classroom

He’s passionate about working together with youth to make a difference in our planet. One of his greatest accomplishments, beyond the day-to-day impact on kids, is the Bobcat Energy Saving Team (B.E.S.T.) he started three years ago, “capitalizing on the energy and passion of our students, my team has managed to build a tremendous awareness for environmentally friendly practices in our school and at home,” Drew explains.

BCES has full recycling/composting in the cafeteria and classrooms. It’s reduced annual waste by several tons. The team, led by Drew, has implemented measures to reduce electrical usage, improve healthy lifestyles, and they are working toward improving the schoolyard habitat to develop an outdoor classroom environment.

The craziness, the non-stop learning, the standards and curriculum — it might feel overwhelming to some but Drew feeds off the passion of the kids in his room. And, he knows, he is making a difference one child at a time.

“What really matters is the time you spend helping your students to find their confidence and passion for learning. You have to walk the walk.”

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