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Program brings military into classroom page 2
Troops to Teachers program brings military men and women into the classroom

 John Montez teaches history and psychology at Brooke Point High School after a 20-year Navy career.
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Date published: 1/12/2010


"If I had known that I would have this much fun as a teacher," he said, "I would have left the military earlier."

Montez teaches American history and psychology and coaches the boys tennis team.

His years as a hospital corpsman have come in handy in psychology.

"We're talking about stress and things that I have talked about and instructed people on [in the military]," he said.

The discipline and self-control he learned in the military also have been useful. He says he has few problems with discipline in his classroom.

"My demeanor is a little different, my attitude is a little different, I enjoy teaching but when [students] get angry with me, I don't take it personally," he said.

I asked him if he sees differences between teenagers now and when he was younger.

"There is absolutely no difference," he said. "I graduated high school in 1975 and I can probably give you a dozen parallels with kids today. Teenagers are teenagers the world over."

His patience and understanding also is influenced by his own family. He and his wife, Colleen, have six children between them.

My last question to Montez was if he was happy with his decision to go into teaching.

"How many people get paid to read history? I love history," he said, and went on to describe teaching as "a grand profession."

I'll go further and say of the Troops for Teachers program, what a grand idea.

Shannon Howell is a freelance writer who lives in Stafford County. E-mail her at shannonh34@yahoo.com.

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