Benvenuto, Prof G – New Teacher Spotlight

This new school year has brought changes to our Lenape Family, including new staff members. One addition is James Goetschius, also known as Prof G., the new Italian teacher. He has been studying Italian since the beginning of elementary school and plans on improving our Italian program.

I sat down with Prof G. to discuss how he is adjusting to Lenape and what he thinks so far.

Where did you work prior to coming to Lenape?

“I studied business at TCNJ [The College of New Jersey] and worked for a medical device company called Stryker Orthopaedics after I graduated.  I was a marketing consultant for the lower trauma and extremities division for orthopaedics trauma surgeons. I taught them how to use the products we sold them. Then, in January 2016, I changed from teaching technology to teaching middle school Italian at George White Middle School in Hillsdale when their teacher was on maternity leave.”

How is teaching middle schoolers different from teaching high schoolers?

“In middle school, we needed structure. The kids had a lot of energy, which can be good, but also distracting. In high school, although still necessary, a lot less structure is needed.”

What were your first impressions of Lenape’s students and staff?

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the positive culture. All of the staff want to help me adjust and all my students seem excited to get started. In business, they say that you can tell how good the culture is by how quick it feels like home. For me, I felt at home after about 2 weeks.”

Prof G.
Prof G.

Has teaching at Lenape been what you have expected so far?

“I’d say so. I’ve enjoyed it so far.  I am excited by the skills students brought from previous years in regards to work ethic. They exceeded my expectations, actually.”

How is Lenape different than the high school you went to?

“They’re rather similar.  I went to school in Bergen County and it was much smaller in class size and it included three neighboring towns, but otherwise it was very similar. I had the same rotating schedule, so that has been an easy adjustment. Also, I’ve noticed the same type of student commitment and culture – that’s probably why I’ve felt at home so quickly.”