WATCH ABOVE: Students aren’t the only ones facing a first day of classes. For some teachers, today marks the beginning of a career. Erik Mikkelsen introduces us to one teacher who is now teaching at a school he graduated from.
LETHBRIDGE – It’s back to school for many students this week – and it can be intimidating, exciting and full of firsts.
The same is true for first-year teachers, like Tyler Mantyak. He is the new physical education teacher at Catholic Central High School’s West campus and is starting his first ever teaching job, right here at home.
“To be honest, there’s a little bit of tension. There’s always a little bit starting a newjob,” said Mantyak. “But, you know, it’s an exciting time… A big year for us, the 50th anniversary of Catholic Central and I’m just looking forward to getting in the classroom with the kids and giving them a positive experience.”
Mantyak is a Lethbridge native and is a Catholic Central graduate. He completed his post-secondary education at the University of Regina, earning a Bachelors of Education with a major in mathematics. He also played on the university’s football team, fuelling one of his passions.
He says his own high school teachers gave him a positive learning experience and he wants to pay it forward.
“That’s a big a part of my reasoning in wanting to go and get my education degree and then come back to this school. And, so far, it’s been exactly the same experience,” said Mantyak. “The staff have been extremely supportive of me returning and they’re very supportive of the kids in the school as well.”
Mantyak is jumping in full force, and not only in the classroom. He’s keeping his passion alive by helping coach the school’s football team. He’s also a member of the wellness committee and working on improving the school’s sports performance program.
He said he prepared for the big first day just as much, if not more, than the students.
“I did my back to school shopping, and I was up late preparing,” laughed Mantyak.