Being a 7th grade history teacher and group leader, we thought that Mr. Yenshaw would be a great person to interview about leadership and motivation. What do you think being a leader means? Do you agree with Mr. Yenshaw?
Will you please give us a brief introduction of yourself?
“My name is Daniel C. Yenshaw and I am currently a 7th Grade Teacher at AIS. I am from El Paso, Texas where I was raised and lived there until I was 28.”
What inspires you to be a teacher and traveler?
“I believe growing up, I had many teachers that were very boring and all we did was worksheets and very little teaching was going on. I became a teacher to change this way of teaching and to give students a more meaningful experience in their learning.”
“I travel because it is the best education on earth. I came from a family who did not come from wealth and I grew up with the mindset that if life offers you opportunities, then you take them and run. The world is a big place and I would like to see as much of it as I can.”
Being a group leader, can you explain what true leadership is? Can you explain how one can be a proper leader?
“Team leader is no easy task for middle school. You have to often times settle disputes between students , teachers, and parents, and make sure everyone walks away happy. I believe that leadership is motivating people to do their best in life and modeling how to do it. A proper leader is someone that inspires those around them to do their best, and if their best is not good enough, then you motivate them further. Every single person has the ability to be a leader in life, they just have to be shown the way.”
What are some qualities you look for in a leader?
“The qualities I look for in a leader (especially classroom leader) are that they do not show favoritism in class to any one student. They treat everyone equally, even if it is their friends. They are able to motivate people that are usually not motivated and they learn how to work together in a team. They must also have good speaking skills, because as we have learned in history, the great leaders in life (Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar) are great leaders because they know how to speak and they appeal to everyone.”
How do you motivate your students and fellow teachers?
“Motivation is a difficult thing to do, if done right it can be the best of things, if done wrong, it can be the worst. To motivate people you must make them believe they can accomplish anything in life or in school. You must do this in such a way as to not over motivate them to let them have a big ego. I believe that people respond good to positive comment and this is the main way I motivate people.”
What would you say is your favorite way of learning? How can we apply that to our everyday lives?
“I believe that every student learns different. You have people who excel on tests and quizzes, then those who excel in debates, those who like to perform (skits), and those who like to work by themselves in teaching themselves (independent studies). I like all of the ways mentioned of learning as I believe all of these tools, will benefit students in their everyday life. I am very big on group work and speaking abilities, because in the end, this is what people must master in life in order to be contributing members of society.”
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time and vacations?
“Traveling and cooking. Traveling is what motivates me in life and I take many of my experiences in travel and apply it to the classroom. Cooking helps me relax and trying new food combinations is something that challenges me. I wish I would have more time to cook, but work always comes first.”
Is there anything you would like to tell AIS Middle School students?
“I have enjoyed my time with all my students the last five years. I believe that every student at the school will achieve great things in life, if they stick to their studies and take the life lessons I have taught them to the next level. I have spent a lot of time in preparing them to be better people in the world and I hope they do not forget the lessons in life and history I have taught them.”
What would you say is your favorite thing in history?
“I believe Greek and Roman culture for the first part of history is my favorite, because these empires gave so much meaning to the modern world. For the second part of history I believe the French Revolution and Napoleon is my favorite because for 8 weeks, the class is one big skit with students having parts in every class and trying to see how the French Revolution sets up for the next 200 years. I will be sad I will not get to teach this to my seventh graders next year.”
Thank you Mr. Yenshaw for spending some time with us!
By Jana Mahmoud