Feature teacher: Mr. Corcoran

Mr. Corcoran - Courtesy of d230.org

Mr. Corcoran – Courtesy of d230.org

Alaina Kovacevic, Entertainment Editor

Q. How long have you been working here at Sandburg? 

A. 31 years


Q. Did you always know that you wanted to become a teacher? Why or why not? 

A. Yes and no. When I was an undergrad, I thought about teaching. Something in the medical field was my first thought. A doctor or veterinarian… but I decided it wasn’t for me. I always knew I wanted to work in natural resources, either as a fishery biologist, or something related to this. I took education classes as an undergrad, then I met my wife, who was a teacher. She really inspired me to become one.


Q. Describe your typical day of teaching, what routines do you do/habits? 

A. I get here at 7 in the morning, have my tea and my breakfast in my quiet space, and start planning my day. I never grade at home – I was a 3-season coach for 14 years and I never had time – so I started getting here early to grade in the morning. Every weekend, I go back to my house in Wisconsin. It’s about a two hour drive.


Q. What classes do you teach? Which is your favorite? 

A. APES (AP Environmental Science) and Ecology, sometimes Animal Behavior. I first started with Biology and Anatomy. Then APES began in 1999 when I helped get it up and running. APES is definitely my favorite.


Q. How has running the Bass Fishing Club impacted your experience?

A. Yeah, it’s fantastic. It gives me the opportunity to take kids fishing who would never have the chance, and I get to share my passion with them. There’s a good competitive edge with tournaments, and I’ve been a coach my entire career. I’m very competitive, and the bass fishing club allows me this outlet. I’ve coached swimming for 19/20 years, boy’s swimming. I coached 14 years boys and girls soccer, but I prefer bass fishing.


Q. What has been your favorite experience here at Sandburg? 

A. My favorite part is the teaching family that I belong to, my science friends, and other friends in other departments. My favorite memory is the year we won state for soccer in 1993. Me and another teacher, who retired, planned a tailgating party for the state final game. It was the semifinal, we had a giant party and planned it in 5 hours. We called the principal and woke him up at 2am, rented a grill, (commercial grill), and planned it at 2 in the morning. The kids, parents, and everyone enjoyed it. And we won state, which is great.


Q. If you could have changed anything about your career or teaching experience, what would it be? 

A. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It’s been a blast. I’m fortunate to teach what I like to good kids. I wouldn’t change a thing.


Q. I know this is your last year here at Sandburg. How do you feel about closing this chapter and leaving? 

A. I’m ready to go. I’m excited and ready for the next adventure. I bought a house in Alabama, so no more winters for me.


Q. What are your hopes and dreams for the next part of your life? 

A. No idea. I’m not done working, and I’m going to find something to keep me busy. I was listening to music and driving to school and started to remember when I was 19 or 20 thinking about how I could do whatever I want. My friends would ask what we wanted to do, and we had the time to do whatever we want… nowhere to be and all the time in the world. I feel like it’ll be like that again, whatever adventures happen, happen. I’m gonna do the snowbird thing, spend my winters down in Alabama and my summers in Wisconsin.


Q. Do you have any advice for anyone reading this about life, school, work, etc.?

A. Don’t take it too seriously. Be a professional in what you do, but don’t take it too seriously; things happen, so just roll with it. If you take life too seriously, it’ll make you crazy.