The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



And Now a Word from SLOHS Teacher Joe Fantazia


  Groovy Joe Fantasia smiling for the camera. Photo courtesy of SLOHS website.

  Numerous new teachers have been added to the San Luis Obispo High School community in the last two years, especially in the Special Education department. One of these new hires is Special Education teacher Joe Fantazia.

  Expressions wanted to ask Fantazia a few questions, but he decided to write a statement instead. Fantazia didn’t think that asking mundane questions like “what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream,” and “where did you go to college,” really teaches anyone about who he is or what his morals are. This is what he has to say:

  “One important message that I have for students is that ‘there is no one who loves teaching’. It is impossible to love teaching. There is no such thing as objective teaching. Teachers have no control over what you will do with connection and engagement of the classroom.

  We educate with intention, action, engagement, clarity and exchange; calling out to inspiration, awe, wonder, insight, intuition, cognition, recognition, metacognition, mastery, self realization, invention, and entrepreneurial aspiration. We are like prospectors mining; as we clear away the tailings, the gold is revealed within the student body.

  I have had students tell me that they think their teacher dislikes them. This is one of the most important ideas ever uttered at high school, because it is absolutely backwards, upside-down, untrue and an insidious notion. I say to those students ‘that is impossible’. 

  No one would come to this job everyday and give eight to ten hours, in the best years of their lives, if they did not love students. No one would ever return to this job if they expected some type of perfection from students/teens. 

  Teachers hold a vision of you, as you are in your future. Teachers visualize you as powerful and self-confident. Teachers tell you that it is OK to believe in your greatness. Teachers tell you that, as adults, you will find greater liberation through self control and intentionality. 

  Teachers in general avoid enabling self-pity, ingratitude, dishonesty, selfishness, inconsideration, unkindness, hatred, or violence. Teachers push you to go beyond what you have known, and to expect more from yourselves. Teachers went through this exact process themselves and understand the paradox of trusting the concept; ‘I am greater than I realize’. 

  Teachers know with certainty, your potential for self transformation. Teachers were once where you are now, made it through to the next level and then onto the next. We come from your future; we have seen what lies beyond the frontier of San Luis Obispo and we have returned in order to teach you how to navigate what lies beyond your current horizon. 

  You have already succeeded through several cycles / journeys in your life. We teach that your evolution will continue on, for the entirety of your life; ‘change is the only constant’. There is no true ‘normality’, just shared norms. 

  Teachers know that everything you need is already inside of you. We have no real instruction/ operators manual to work from. We know that your mission is to unlock the mystery of life that is bound to the core of your being. This key to life can never be taken from you and absolutely requires self-activation. 

  Only you have the activation codes; within you. When you know yourself and trust your self-knowing, then you have found an internal compass; a tool to assess your reality and make sound determinations, as you move forward through the constant change that surrounds you. 

  There is nothing more exciting in life than these personal journeys that all students are having; this is what educators love. There is nothing at-all more exciting that happens in SLO, every day between 8:30 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. 

  The value of your self-discovery is the greatest potential source of satisfaction, and your teachers count themselves very fortunate to support you through these profoundly formative years. Teachers love you, for what you represent and how powerful and important your life-force is to all of reality; you are a direct reflection of all the beauty and complexity in life that swirls chaotically around us all; you are a celebration of life. 

  Like your inner mystery, this truth can never be taken from you. Cheers, Mr. Fantazia.”

  Mr. Fantazia is truly unlike any teacher at this school, but he fits right in here at SLOHS. He had so much to say, and it all was meaningful. He’s a super cool and groovy guy, so if you ever get the chance to say hello, definitely take it!

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