Over the last year and a half, John Shockley has written countless letters of recommendation for his student’s college applications, and he’s also received letters back – loads of thank you letters. John took over a high school physics classroom in the fall of 2019 after a teacher tragically passed away, and shortly after joining EnCorps. The school year was challenging, but he quickly connected with students and worked his real life experience into the classroom. As a 2019 STEM Teaching Fellow, John brings his 35 years as a systems engineer and program manager to his physics classroom at American High School in the Fremont Unified School District. In the summer of 2020, EnCorps honored John as a General Motors Scholarship recipient.
John feels he can relate to his students immediately when he finds out about their ambitions to pursue STEM. He has a degree of credibility with them with his technical background and says he loves getting hit up by kids all the time for help on various projects. “I just have great kids – they’re all going to college. They’re almost all planning to be STEM majors.”
His true care for each one of his students is apparent by reading their emails to him. His students write:
“Dear Mr. Shockley, I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done for us this year. I really appreciate you sticking with us for the entire year, getting us caught up with all the material, and handling the class with compassion – something that we really needed… You faced so many challenges with our class but never gave up on us, and I’m beyond grateful for that.”
To anyone considering teaching as their next career, John would say that your background in industry is invaluable and you could be the perfect role model.