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A teacher’s journey

Gregory Sherwin, geography teacher, reflects on his love, reason for teaching

Sivakami Ramakrishnan

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Gregory Sherwin sits in his office, planning out the schedule for the school day. Sherwin, an AP Human Geography teacher, is well-known for his love of the Cubs and for effectively getting a student’s attention.

“I went to DePaul University and I remember the professor was struggling to relay the information to the students,” Sherwin said. “I thought, ‘Gosh, if only the professor did this or that, then we would really understand this,’ and then I realized that I could do this.”

Sitting in that class gave Sherwin a moment of enlightenment, he said. Teaching had been a career choice that had been at the back of his mind ever since third grade, but this instance reiterated his love for teaching, so he decided to pursue it.

Sherwin has been teaching since 1994 and he came to Stevenson in 1998 after teaching at Rich Central High School. His favorite subject to teach is geography and he started teaching AP Human Geography as soon as it was offered as a course in 2001.

“You have to find a career in life that you enjoy,” Sherwin said. “Making money is important but doing something you love really makes everyday enjoyable.

Sherwin minored in geography when he was in college and enjoyed it very much. He believes that human geography is one of the best classes to take at Stevenson.

“In terms of making sense of the world today, it is the most relevant, practical and pragmatic course that you can take,” Sherwin said. “Certainly, there are courses that will help you specifically. But generally speaking, it’s the class that will help students understand the world in a very practical way.”

Sherwin remembers being extremely nervous on his first day of teaching. In the beginning, he was always scared to say something wrong but later on, he learned to laugh at himself when he made mistakes.

According to Sherwin, his goal was always to be someone who students could relate to. He wanted to teach from the perspective of what it was like sitting in his classroom as a student.

“There are two key elements to teaching,” Sherwin said. “The first is that you have to teach the information. They have to learn things. The second is that it has to be interesting. If I’m not interested, or if the students aren’t interested, then why am I teaching?”

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The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School.
A teacher’s journey