by REBEKAH ZALEWSKI
Once named among the top six funniest individuals in Visalia by The Visalia Times Delta, Mr. Fox is now a new faculty member of the El Diamante English department. The Fresno Pacific University alumni teaches both freshmen and sophomore English. His background is as a junior high pastor for fourteen years, his work in children’s ministry, and his experience teaching English at Divisadero and La Joya has rightfully prepared him to be a part of the family here at El Diamante.
Some of the most common dreams young children have when they are young is to become actors or astronauts. Like most children, Fox shared this dream of becoming an astronaut before he was a teenager. After becoming what he considers to be realistic, Fox was inspired to become a teacher by the teachers who desired to impact their students’ lives and his passion for working with children.
Obstacles can appear in many places and challenge us in many ways. For instance, one of the obstacles Fox had to overcome was the point in life at which he began teaching. Instead of beginning a time-consuming profession like teaching earlier in life when it could have been easier, his choice to become one later in life proved to be difficult. With his wife also being a teacher, it was important to find time and balance in their schedule for their three children. While this was a challenging time, he persevered in order to provide for his family and at the same time, do what he loves.
Transitioning from job to job can, at times, be very difficult. Thrown into the profession rather quickly, Fox has learned, firsthand, the difficulties associated with becoming a teacher. Most teachers are required to complete a student-teacher program, along with a series of tests, before teaching; however, Fox completed this step backwards, and began substitute teaching after passing the tests. His long-term subbing at Divisadero landed him a permanent position there mid-year, jump-starting his process of becoming a teacher. Looking back on this, Fox describes the experience like “building an airplane as you’re flying it – it’s a little scary at times.”
A majority of teachers join the profession to teach a subject with a certain purpose or goal in mind, and Fox does not deviate from that speculation. As a child, Fox enjoyed reading and writing, which is now a key component of what drives him to teach English today. When given a list of schools with available teaching positions, Fox ultimately chose El Diamante for a couple of reasons. This position allows him to stay close to his wife and children, and the English department’s stellar reputation made his decision to teach here worthwhile. Inspired by the teachers in his life that desired to connect with students, help them succeed, and impact their lives, Fox now teaches with those same ideas in mind.
Arguably one of the best parts of being a teacher is the ability to impact the next generation’s lives and give them advice on how to make this world a better place. When asked what advice he would like to impart on his students, Fox replied with, “Don’t be apathetic or cynical. Cynicism is a trap.” The next generation can greatly benefit from his advice and heightened sense of optimism as we navigate through the coming years.