Fourth grade teacher Jeff Segrest is making his imprint at Hamilton Disston School. Segrest, who teaches all subjects in the classroom, is entering his first year at the school.
“This is my first year at Disston and my experience has been amazing,” Segrest said. “I came from a charter school, so entering this year I didn’t know what to expect as far as making that transition from a charter to public school, but my experience has been amazing. The principal and staff have welcomed me with open arms. My co-workers have helped me tremendously; we are all on the same page and work together to accomplish great things. My students are great.”
One of the many reasons Segrest is so popular among students is his relaxed teaching style.
“My teaching style is very relaxed, which I think for a lot of my students, makes them feel comfortable,” Segrest said. “I don’t like to yell or raise my voice. While my teaching style may be relaxed, I do demand the best out of my students. I like to make them think and want to ask questions.
“I don’t want them to learn things because they have to, I want my students to use what they learn in their everyday life,” he added. “If they are not getting something, I want them to be able to ask questions and find a way to the answer.”
Science is the most popular class among his students. Fourth grade students in his class will be learning about life science (plants), electromagnets, water cycle and earth science.
“The kids here are very motivated and love to learn,” Segrest said. “What I try to do with science is have them explore different things through various projects. With science, I like everything to be hands on. I don’t just want them to learn the material, but understand the material through the interaction of the projects I give them.
“I’m a fan of using other teaching methods in addition to the textbook,” he added. “If the students want to know more about something I want them to be able to research it on their own, but I also want them to learn through the assignments I give them. I don’t just want them to be a fourth-grade learner, but a lifelong learner. I want them to be constantly thinking and learning new ideas.”
For fourth-grader Hope Rivera, being in Segrest’s science class has helped her see science in a new light.
“We’re always learning something and he makes science interesting,” Rivera said. “I never knew science could be this fun. We’re always doing different projects. My favorite project so far in science has been when we had to try to light a light bulb with tools we were given. I really like having him as my teacher.”
Segrest is hoping through his classes his students will have a desire to learn more.
“I want them to work hard and have a clear thirst for knowledge,” Segrest said. “I want them to embrace the moment and have fun. I know that they can be successful, my goal as their teacher is to make sure they know they can be successful.
“This is just the beginning for me at Disston,” he added. “I’m looking forward to building on what I’ve done as a teacher this year.”