Alternative School – John Maloy, social studies
Social studies teacher John Maloy has been named Teacher of the Year at the Union Alternate School.
“I started teaching in 1990,” Maloy began, “when a friend needed someone to teach a business law class for Northeastern State University at the armory in Pryor. I said sure. She said, ‘It starts tonight.’ I ended up loving teaching. I taught adjunct there for 8½ years. After I left NSU my alma mater, Connors State College, asked if I would teach a criminal law class. I taught for them for several years as well while practicing law. After practicing law for about six years, I knew that wasn’t for me. I was not having fun and became disenchanted with the practice of law. Then, on a walk one day, my wife asked me why I didn’t teach full time, something I’d never done. I looked into it and became alternatively certified. In 2009 I was lucky enough to get a job in the FOCUS Program at the I-High (now the Freshman Academy.) I have been teaching at-risk students since then and have loved almost every minute of it.”
The year 2021, however, comes with challenges thanks to Covid-19. But teaching has been much better, he said.
“It’s great, I’m glad to be back in the classroom,” Maloy said. “It is a little bit more of a challenge keeping the students engaged though. Following the months of no school and virtual classes, cell phones have become more of a challenge making it imperative that I keep the students fully engaged. So, I have been switching my content to NearPod. That has been a game changer in a lot of ways. I can structure the lesson in a much more interactive way. We can go over a few slides and then have an activity. Most of the students like the variety.”