English teacher Migdail endeavors to inspire his students

Tori Shanefelter, Staff Writer

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Carlmont English teacher, Erik Migdail strives to be “caring, knowledgable, and fun” in the eyes of his students.

“I would hope that the first word [my students] would use to describe me would be caring. The most important thing to me [as a teacher] is to form a relationship with my students and help them understand that I genuinely care and and want them to succeed. Knowledgeable because I want them to feel that they can trust that I know what I am doing. [The third would be] fun because I want my students to not only learn but to have fun and enjoy doing it. Learning is and should be fun,”  said Migdail.

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English teacher Erik Migdail

Migdail’s dedication and passion for his job started  before coming to Carlmont. His passion and dedicated stemmed and grew 17 years ago when he took his first job as an English teacher at South San Francisco High School. Along with English, he also ran the yearbook and student government programs for a few years.

Throughout Midgail’s young adult life, he considered many different career options, but always returned to the idea of teaching. The idea of becoming a teacher wasn’t a surprising or too far-fetched career option for him as he grew up in a household ran by a Harlem, New York elementary teacher  mother and Bronx, New York truancy officer father. Teaching and educating the next generations of the world ran in the Midgail family. After much debate on which career choice would be the best suit for him, Migdail decided that he would be most happy in joining the family trade and becoming a teacher.

Migdail said, “When I was thinking about different jobs I might do, I always kept coming back to the idea of becoming a teacher. After awhile, I thought it was time to honor that [idea] and see if it really was what I needed to be doing and it turns out that it is.”

Migdail’s teaching approach doesn’t follow the traditional  classroom environment; instead he created his own, one that he believes students will thrive more easily in. Migdail aims to bring the fun back in learning and does so by creating an learning environment that is not only educational but also relaxed so that students aren’t intimidated by him and the work.

Junior Camryn Choye said ,”I really like his teaching environment; it’s not tense or intimidating. Unlike most teachers, he doesn’t try to enforce the normal learning process. He’s very relaxed and is always trying to lighten up the mood by making jokes. His attitude also helps to break down that student-teacher barrier that causes students to feel intimidated around their teacher.”

Migdail’s passion for his profession is evident by his effort to go the extra mile for his students and the smile on face while doing it.

“He’s  always smiling and seems so happy during class. Even though [AP English Composition] is a hard class, his attitude makes you want to be there [in class] and to learn. He seems like he really enjoys being a teacher,” said junior Ariana Crame.

Throughout his 17 years of teaching, Migdail has always aimed to do everything he can to help his students achieve their dreams.

“The thing I love most about being a teacher is having the opportunity to do more good in the world and inspire more people by 10 a.m. than most people have the opportunity to do in a year. Also knowing that I can be a positive influence for my students in terms of their academic, personal, and emotional development. To have the opportunity to help them achieve their goals is the most rewarding part of being a teacher,” said Migdail.

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