Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Jeff Luera
CAMP VERDE – While in college, Jeff Luera taught weekly at a juvenile detention center. His takeaway from the experience was the “need for positive role models in the lives of teenagers.”
“I felt like I could meet that need,” he said.
Now in his fifth year as an educator, the past two years teaching world history at Camp Verde High School, Luera said that kids “will always be the best part of teaching.”
“Particularly our kids here at Camp Verde High School,” he said. “I have really enjoyed building relationships with the students and helping them in and outside of the classroom.”
In his first year as the school’s principal, Mark Showers said that Luera is a “gifted young teacher.”
“His strengths include a passion for his subject area, a passion for kids, and a passion for his faith,” Showers said. “He has a way of building relationships with students and communicating history through stories so that they embrace learning history.”
Showers also said that Luera’s “communication, compassion and care for kids and his support for other staff members” help him make a difference at Camp Verde High.
“Realizing Mr. Luera was an important part of our campus was easy to observe through his interaction with students and their response to him,” Showers said.
Verde Valley Newspapers: Tell us about your teaching style.
Jeff Luera: “I think that in teaching, it is so important to engage the students in a variety of ways. I try to do my best to use a lot of pictures to help with that.
“A lot of my students are very visual learners, so I think they appreciate that. It can be a challenge sometimes, but I am constantly trying to think of hands-on ways to teach history for the students. I try to do my best to connect with my students through personal stories and situations that apply to the lesson as well.”
VVN: Tell us something notable about your career.
Luera: “I have never really been recognized for anything in teaching, but I am extremely proud of the relationships I have been able to build with my students and athletes through the years.”
VVN: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Luera: “Our best moments as educators will be the ones that no one will ever see.”
VVN: What you would do if you weren’t a teacher?
Luera: “I have no idea what I would do. I love teaching and coaching so much I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
VVN: Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
Luera: “My students know this, but I really like to do up-close card magic.”
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42