Teacher of the Week: Cairns childhood memory to encourage perseverance


Lilly Gorman

Coppell High School geometry and honors algebra II teacher Chase Cairns has a pet rock, Rick James, that adds character to his classroom. Crains has been teaching at CHS for two years and uses his childhood past to help make his classroom a better learning environment.

Sapna Amin, Staff Writer

Coppell High School geometry and honors algebra II teacher Chase Cairns has taught at CHS for two years. His teaching style and the way he approaches life derives from his childhood. One day, when he was growing up, his father abruptly quit smoking cold turkey for his family. That experience taught Cairns the value of perseverance and finding a similar motivation. He carries this over as a teacher and encourages his students to find different ways to solve something they do not understand.

What is an object in your class that makes D202 special?

Last year, Shoy Border brought me a rock and drew a smiley face and it became our class pet. I thought I would get rid of it eventually, but it kept traveling around the room. Now, [Rick James] is sitting by my desk. Ever so often, somebody asks about Rocky and it’s interesting because now he’s kind of a part of the family.

What is your favorite musical artist and song?

My favorite band is Queen because they are different. My favorite song is “Bohemian Rhapsody” by far. I grew up with “Bohemian Rhapsody” as my number one song on my playlist. It was probably one of the first songs I ever really, really loved and enjoyed listening to. My dad had a computer shop when I was younger, and I would sit there and listen to it on repeat because it was such a beautiful song.

What has been your favorite teaching memory?

Last year, I had a student that didn’t get along with me at the beginning. Then, one day he came to tutoring for some help. It took about 30 to 40 minutes of constant tutoring and then he reached his ‘aha’ moment. It was like all of a sudden the whole world changed for him, and it was probably one of the best moments.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned?

That enough perseverance helps you meet your goals. It might seem like you are against all odds, but the more you persevere and stick to it you are going to meet your goals and achieve what you want to achieve. Even if it’s years or decades down the road it will happen eventually.

What  is your greatest accomplishment?

Becoming a teacher because I was not good at math in high school, and I struggled constantly. My parents pushed me to be an engineer, but I didn’t want to [be an engineer]. I started liking math because I had a good teacher [Wylie East High School AP AB calculus Robyn Bray] that loved math. I went from really being bad at math to a math teacher here at CHS.

Who is your role model?

There is a teacher named Michelle Bellish who was my mentor when I first got to [CHS]. I admired how she talked to kids, the way that she held students accountable and was 100% for the kids.

What is something most people do not know about you?

I’ve always really, really been into gaming. When I was like eight, I got my first gaming PC and ever since then, I have loved video games. I love the Assassin’s Creed games; I have played every single one known to man.

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