Now. Here. This. -Brian "Profe" Gonzales
Profe Gonzales: More Than a Choir Teacher
In the world, there are few role models. Maybe that is why we admire them so much. A role model who exemplifies all the traits we want to see in ourselves is a rare breed of person. Brian “Profe” Gonzales is one of those few.
More than a middle school choir director, Gonzales is a voice of reason, a person to turn to and talk to, someone who is completely trustworthy. In middle school, where the walls are seeping with insecurity, Gonzales has the confidence in himself to be real and vulnerable with his students, all 200 of them. He challenges them to go outside of their comfort zones, meet and talk with new people, and never be afraid to stand out in a crowd. The motto of his classroom, “Blend in and stand out,” is a strong reminder to us all that there is a time and place for everything. A time to blend in, when not being noticed is the biggest accomplishment, and a time to stand out of the crowd and showcase your unique talents.
Most teachers are good at teaching their subjects. Most are personable, and students like them. Few, however, give their students essential life skills. The most important lesson I learned from Profe is that to make real connections with people, you have to be vulnerable with them. Our society currently has a huge issue with vulnerability. People hide their feelings and let them build up, never reaching for help, never talking about them. Vulnerability is necessary in our society for people to feel comfortable with who they are and their relationships with everyone else.
Profe also taught me the art of compartmentalization: no matter what is going on in your world, being able to put it aside and focus on the task at hand. If you don't compartmentalize, you lose the focus you could have had on your work, and, consequently, your productivity and effectiveness plummets. The key to getting things done is being able to put things aside for a minute and concentrate your energy on your work, and then resume your thinking once you’re done. Good productivity is essential later in life and compartmentalization is key to that.
Yet to be able to teach lessons like these and be looked up to, a teacher has to practice them himself. Profe started his teaching career in Nicaragua, where he taught at a music school he had begun while volunteering at an orphanage. He then moved back to the US and has taught for over 20 years, at middle, elementary, and high school levels. He has impacted thousands of students, all of whom leave his classroom having learned something new that doesn't just apply to choir, but to their futures.
I think true heroism is inspiring others to be better, and I think it can take place where nobody notices it, in small cities, in schools, and sometimes, even in choir rooms. Profe deserves to be recognized, not because he saved the world, but because he helped inspire and guide the next generation and left a positive impact on every student that left his classroom.
Page created on 2/28/2020 10:16:09 PM
Last edited 2/29/2020 12:44:53 AM