Seven Question Slam: Mr. Souza


Isabella Rocha, Editor

1. Why are you afraid of moths?

Moths are the bane of my existence. They always swarm my front door during summer nights so that it is virtually impossible to get inside without letting one in. Once inside my house, they are always able to hide quickly such that I can never immediately find them. Which means that I must look until they are found, otherwise I will not be able to sleep. In addition, they are dusty and leave behind this residue on anything they touch. Some people are grossed out by spiders, for others it’s snakes, for me it’s moths.

2. What has been the most challenging part of teaching during the pandemic?

The most challenging part of teaching during the pandemic has been making and maintaining meaningful connections with students. For many students, being on camera or using your microphone during a google meet is a large stressor. As a result, many students are less inclined to participate in class when they are remote. In addition, the students that are physically in school are only in my class once or twice a week (depending on if they are fully in person). Due to the lack of face to face interaction, it has been difficult to forge meaningful connections with students.

3. Why did you decide to teach physics?

From the time I started high school I knew I wanted to pursue a career in teaching, although I was not sure what subject I wanted to teach. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I took a physics course and knew that I had found the subject for me. I enjoyed how challenging it was and loved the fact that it incorporated aspects of both math and science.

4. Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?

My father has always been my biggest inspiration. Growing up, he did everything that he could to ensure that my family was taken care of, oftentimes working long hours and weekends. Seeing the hard work and the dedication that he put into a job that was anything but easy, was an inspiration.

5. Why do you ask students for “stories, announcements, or grievances” before every class?

I begin every class with “stories, announcements and grievances” because I want my students to know that they are valued and that they have a voice. It is very important for students to have an outlet to express their feelings, and I thought that designating the first few minutes of class to just talking would provide a wonderful opportunity for students to share. Sometimes people just need a chance to share a funny story, announce something interesting, or even just complain about something, so I wanted to ensure that my students had the opportunity to do so.

6. What is your favorite part about teaching?

Making connections with students. There is nothing more meaningful and fulfilling than knowing that you helped someone through a difficult time.  

7. If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

If I could meet anyone, alive or dead, I would want to meet my paternal grandmother. She passed away when I was very young, and I never had the opportunity to truly know her. From the stories that my parents have told me, she and I are very similar and would have gotten along very well.