More than a teacher

Humans of West: Mr. Arnold


Luke Loving

Arnold wasn’t always sure about what he wanted to be growing up. He wanted to be a teacher, but did not originally plan on becoming a science teacher. “Early on I thought I wanted to [be a teacher]. I wanted to be a history teacher actually when I was in my early twenties, but I just was a little misguided,” Arnold said.

Luke Loving, Reporter

Until time machines are created, the future is unknown. The steps we take now can help determine the future, but we never know what will happen for certain. When Mr. Arnold grows older however, he wants to make sure he is happy with what he did for others. 

John Arnold is a science teacher at West and has been teaching for four years now. He takes pride in helping others and it’s what pushed him towards becoming a teacher. 

“A big part [of becoming a teacher] was starting a family and wanting to just establish a career that I felt good about,” Arnold said. “I really decided that I wanted to do something in my life where if I’m lucky enough to grow into old age, I can look back and feel good about it.” 

“My favorite part [about teaching] is probably the learning. I think it’s fun to be in a position where I get to absorb and [it’s] not just about content,” Arnold said. “I learn more about myself as I learn about other people and […] it helps me sort through what’s important in life […] It’s really been a huge opportunity to grow in my own life.”

Arnold has already made an impression on his fellow teachers. Audra Hawkinson is another science teacher at West and has established a connection with Mr. Arnold. 

“He is very enthusiastic, very dedicated. You get that right away. He’s also very empathetic,” Hawkinson said. “He is just so consistent with showing that he’s caring for all his students and just so professional. He’s always working on professional development for himself.”

Arnold’s concern for the well-being of his students has created many relationships between him and his students. Senior Tenish Miller is one of Arnold’s students who has noticed his concern for others.

“He always checks up on me and makes sure I have all my work done. He just makes sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing in school,” Miller said.

Arnold is more involved at West than just teaching his classes. He is also involved with the Ecology Club, the Diversity Club, and the West High Blood Drive. 

“I thought it was really cool that West was doing [a blood drive] […] I think it’s an opportunity where we can work as a group to do something good in our community,” Arnold said. “My Dad used to donate so he [showed me] something that was important, and I used to donate. I fell off for a long time and this drive really got me thinking about what I can actually do and to see students doing it was really motivating.”

Arnold is also a passionate family-man. He tries to spend time with his kids as much as possible while getting outside as well. His grandparents had a major influence on the person he is today.

“I feel very fortunate to have had all four of my grandparents in my life and to say any one of them [had the most influence on me] would be tricky because they all kind of were a really good team,” Arnold said. “They all had such a supportive nature about them, understanding and loving.”