Getting to know Mr. Phelps

Janny Oh, Opinion Editor

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It is Mr. Phelp’s second year as a chemistry teacher here at Hart. He started teaching in 2004 at Joe Walker Middle School in Quartz Hill.
While Mr.Phelps was teaching seventh and eigth grade science, he also started coaching baseball at a private high school in Lancaster that same year.In 2006, he began to teach chemistry and health at Belmont High School in Los Angeles until 2017.

“I enjoyed all of my classes in high school: particularly my chemistry, anatomy, electronic, and algebra classes,” said Mr. Phelps.

“I started to think about becoming a teacher my junior year of college, especially of a math or science or any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) based class. I think a lot of young students lose interest in math and science during the transition from middle to high school, or high school to college and I wanted to try to influence those students that STEM classes would be important and impactful in their lives,” Phelps said.

A number of people inspired him to pursue his career in teaching and encouraging students, especially his grandfather, father and his father’s colleagues and previous teachers in general. A number of college classes discouraged him from continuing that dream, but he got through them.
As the chemistry teacher at Hart High School, Mr. Phelps believes that taking his chemistry class gives important skill sets to all students.

“Everyone should take chemistry, not because everyone should become a scientist, but because learning science trains the mind to think analytically and to problem solve. Hart has been very welcoming and pleasant so far. The faculty, staff, and students have been very helpful and wonderful. My favorite part of the second semester has been getting to know my students and especially discussing with seniors what college they plan to attend after they graduate,” Phelps said.

His current students are also enjoying his time at Hart High School.
One of his students, senior Stephanie Skarshaug, spoke about his teaching so far.

“So Mr. Phelps came at the start of second semester and I could immediately tell he was going to be a great teacher. He takes teaching chemistry seriously, but one thing that makes him stand out is that he is very approachable. Everyone in the classroom asks questions about what we are learning throughout the class period and he is always happy to answer them. I was pretty lost in chemisty after first semester, but because of Mr. Phelps I now have a firm understanding of the material and I feel like I am ready for college level chemistry. I used to dread going to chemistry everyday, but with Mr. Phelps I am super excited to go and I consider it one of my favorite classes,” said Skarshaug.