In an era where technology is progressing faster than most can follow, education is constantly left behind. In Urbandale High School, one teacher is trying his best to keep up with it. For years, Marc Hermon has been striving to keep education modern and helpful while focusing on the students.
Unlike some other teachers, Hermon has wanted to be an educator for a long time. For him, teaching was the perfect profession. “I had some inspiring teachers in high school and I also have always loved learning things and helping others learn things also. Teaching was the perfect fit to allow me to spend my life doing things I love.”
But his job as a teacher hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Like any other job, it has its ups and downs. “The best [moment] was probably in 2004 when my science bowl team was Iowa State Champs and we had an all expense paid trip to Nationals in Washington D.C. for a week. The worst moment was probably in 2005 when a trash can in the back of my chemistry lab caught on fire (cause still undetermined) and the entire school had to be evacuated outside into freezing temperatures for a couple of hours. I’ve had a hard time living that one down.”
When asked to describe his teaching style, Hermon says that it’s very student focused. “[It’s] better than Mr. Mueller’s! For me, the focus has to be on learning. Very few people I have ever met have perfect understanding the first time they hear something. I want my students to keep trying, practicing and performing so that they will have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the mechanics of the world that they live in.”
This student-based learning leads the students having to overcome some challenges, but Hermon allows for them to improve. “My classes are all for college credit and thus tend to be fairly challenging, but students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency on the competencies. If a student gets an F the first time they attempt a competency they don’t just give up because they know if they continue trying to learn, come work with me and work on E-Lab problems they can always prove their understanding by re-attempting competencies to earn an A.”
Outside of school, Hermon enjoys a variety of activities. “I primarily like to spend time with my wife, Ginger, and four children aged 8-24. I do a lot of computer programming and website design, and also spend a lot of time outdoors working on firewood or gardening. I am very involved with the church and do some public speaking.”
After two decades of teaching at Urbandale, Hermon has no plans on changing anything. “Next year will be my 20th year teaching at UHS. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. The faculty is great and the students are even better. I would like for students to be proud of their great alma mater!”