Community Connections

I interviewed my previous middle school teacher, Lorenzo Cirillo. I chose to interview him because I’m thinking about becoming a teacher in the future. He was a very good teacher, the teaching style that he used was good and understandable, his personality was great and I know the people in his class liked him as a teacher too. I hope I can be a good teacher like him someday. Now he has a fly fishing 11 course that he designed, and an outdoor program and English high school teacher at Glen Eagle. He previously teached at Pitt River Middle for a number of years.


The first question is why are you passionate about your job?

He’s passionate because he feels like you have to be for the students to be interested in you, and to have a connection with them. Although sometimes you do have to fake it because you as teacher may not be interested in the topic you’re teaching but you have to get through it anyways. He also feels as this job is life long learning.


What were the obstacles you faced?

He went to Douglas CollageĀ  for 4 years doing the university transfer majoring in history while having a job at a fish place. He got into SFU and studied there for a year and a half to become a high school history teacher. He then applied to the teaching program at SFU but didn’t get accepted right away Then 7 years past still working at the fish place which is how he found a wife, had a kid, got a house and got bills to pay. He had a gotten a bit side tracked with the whole teaching thing, but now he needed to step up and earn some more money and find a job that could last. Still working, went to night school (which was hard because group projects were hard to do when you’re always busy), applied for a middle school teaching program, got in and now had to learn every subject, he had to take math for teachers which he did not like. By now he had quit his job to work on becoming a teacher. He then applied to SFU 5 times for being a history high school teacher but got rejected every time. Finally his wife got mad and wrote an appeal (she’s good at writing letters) and they accepted him. At this very same time he applied to UBC’s middle school program and also got accepted. He chose UBC because he was fed up with SFU. He then became a middle school teacher and never had to substitute a single day because I guess he was just that good. He felt this experience made him a better person.


What’s your advice?

-Don’t get discouraged by other people

-Public schools are hard to get into

-Be yourself

-Always challenge yourself


Is high school or middle school better?

In the beginning middle school seemed better than high school but then as the year went along, high school started to grow on him. The 2 places are very different, the teachers are way more connected in middle school and he’s made some really good friends there.


Where would you be if Glen Eagle didn’t offer a outdoor program/his fly fishing course?

Honestly he doesn’t know. He had a flying fishing 11 course designed and almost brought it over to riverside but that didn’t happen. He could be still teaching at Pitt River. But who knows? He seems happy with the teaching job he has now because it’s everything he likes doing/teaching, he would always tell our class about his camping trips and fishing/hunting stories.



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