Camelot Teacher Profile: Colin Hewko
After college, Colin left his home in New Jersey and headed to the nation’s capital for a job with the Department of Education. He soon realized that his passion for education would be better utilized in the front of the classroom. Colin is in his second year teaching social studies at Camelot’s Rubino Academy.
What led you to leave the Department of Education and actually start working in the classroom?
For me, I wanted to get involved in education because I felt like I had a lot of teachers who had a positive impact in my life. I obviously enjoy a challenge and enjoy being around young people. I went back and got my Masters in education so I could become a teacher and get in the classroom. I have future aspirations of getting into administration somewhere down the line.
How have you enjoyed the Camelot experience?
I’m really impressed with the way Camelot gives students a second chance, so I think there’s a lot more opportunity to make a difference and a lot more personal touch you can have with students. Obviously, we have a lot of students who are dealing with issues outside of school and we are able to provide them with a positive culture and give them an opportunity to be successful.
What are the types of things that you integrate into your classroom?
I always try to have discussion based learning in my classroom, which leads to opportunity for debate and questions which provides students with a deeper understanding. From there they are able to construct their own meaning. I teach US History and World History so I try to use things from the past and find ways that students can relate that to present times. Hopefully they will use these events to help make informed decisions about the future.
What project do you really love working on with your students?
Last year, we did an immigration project and I had students go through a mock screening that an immigrant would go through in the 19th Century. They were able to see how people would come here, not able to speak a lot of English and be asked to fill out all sorts of paperwork and go through a health screening process.
I had an interview that I put all the students through and I had source documents from that period that students were able to look through. I think that gives students a better appreciation of the opportunities they are given in the United States.
What have you learned from your colleagues at Camelot?
I have a ton of support from all the staff and supervisors, everyone here is doing an excellent job to help make students make a positive change in their life. I think everyone here takes an active interest in learning about the students
I’ve learned how to really be sensitive to a lot of the kids. I’ve learned to challenge myself and to challenge the kids too. When you see fellow teachers working really hard to make positive change in these kids’ lives it acts as an inspiration for what I should strive for as a teacher and an educator.
What is your favorite part about teaching at Rubino Acadmey?
My favorite part of teaching at Rubino is seeing students who haven’t had success before make positive change in their life and take interest in furthering their education and bettering themselves.