The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Welcome to SLOHS, new Latin Teacher Chad Timm


 With SLOHS Latin teacher Tom Weinshank retired after over thirty years, his replacement has some big shoes to fill. Luckily, SLOHS was privileged enough to hire Latin teacher Chad Timm, a teacher with 13 years of experience. Having taught for three years in New Jersey and ten years online, he’s nailed his modus operandi in the Zoom environment.

Needless to say, Latin students have nothing to worry about. To prove it, Expressions talked to latest addition to the SLOHS language staff Chad Timm.

Expressions: What is it about Latin and the classics that speaks to you?

SLOHS Latin teacher Chad Timm: I think the richness of the subject matter. I get going and I can’t stop! There’s so much to this stuff and I just feel like it has depth like no other subject matter. You can talk about the subject matter itself and then you can talk about how it’s influenced other fields and our language and to me it represents an opportunity as a teacher to always be interested and find things that I find interesting to present to students. That’s why I love teaching it.

Expressions: What do you like about teaching in general?

Timm: Mostly I’m a people person. I don’t think I fit neatly into “introvert” or “extravert” boxes but I definitely enjoy being around people and I think that, as a virtual school teacher, with the [my] old job everything was pretty much electronic so I really had very little contact with students. When I applied for this job way back in November I had no idea there was going to be a plague, heh, and I envisioned being in the classroom with everybody, which is really where I’d prefer to be. So I think that’s what I’m most excited about: making the connections with students. It’s getting students excited and connecting with students. I think back to high school and it’s like, if you didn’t have a connection with a teacher it didn’t really matter what he or she was teaching, you probably didn’t like the subject matter. I think it’s a fun opportunity for me to combine my personality with my passion and that’s what I really like to do–especially when I’m successful at it, which is not every day.

Expressions: What sets SLOHS apart for you?

Timm: I can just say the caliber of students seems really, really high. I don’t think there’s many other places in California where you could go and have a town this size and students of this quality. So I think, y’know, I’ll say the students; awesome students.

Expressions: How do you think online teaching will change your teaching style in the future?

Timm: Ha-ha! Where do I begin? I guess you have to get kind of inventive [and find] inventive ways to connect with students on a personal level that just comes more naturally when you’re in the same room.

Expressions: What hobbies do you enjoy outside of teaching?

Timm: I like to surf when I can. It’s getting harder with the baby, heh, and the water’s cold up here. [Also] camping; those are probably my first two. I do like to build stuff, like shelves and doing home improvement, but [we have] a rental so I’m not gonna’ fix his [my landlord’s] house.

Expressions: What is an embarrassing moment from teaching?

Timm: My first year of teaching was absolutely horrible. I actually felt so bad during the year that I decided that I wasn’t gonna’ teach anymore and I went back to school. I didn’t even think I wanted to go back, so I went to get my Master’s degree. I was feeling pretty defeated in my first year; it was pretty brutal.

Expressions: The Latin Teacher you’re taking over from, Mr. Weinschenk, was very popular here at SLOHS and over the years built up quite a cult following. How does carrying on Weinschenk’s legacy make you feel?

Timm: I think it’s gonna’ be a big challenge. I’m not gonna’ try to be him, I’m not gonna’ try to imitate him, not gonna’ sing all the same songs he sang. But I definitely look at it as a challenge to keep the enthusiasm going. I think his real secret is that he’s enthusiastic. He’s passionate and he’s positive and I think I have those same qualities, so I think I can carry the torch forward, but not necessarily run the same course.

Expressions: Who’s your favorite Roman emperor?

Timm: It’s kind of a boring choice, but I guess it’s Augustus. I mean I think he set the tone for the whole empire. If he hadn’t done what he had done there wouldn’t have been any other emperors. And he’s also a patron for the Aeneid, which is my favorite thing to read.

Expressions: What’s your favorite TV show and/or movie?

Timm: My favorite movie is “The Big Lebowski.” For TV I guess I’d have to pick “The Sopranos.”

Expressions: If you could have any job in the world besides teaching, what would it be?

Timm: Probably I’d be a tour guide in Italy.

Expressions: What’s your deepest, darkest secret?

Timm: Haha! Why don’t we say that I have a deep phobia of house plants. Why don’t they say anything? What are they hiding? It’s a conspiracy! They’re listening!
Additional thoughts from Timm regarding distance learning: We still have the opportunity to do quite a bit and learn quite a bit. I think people are open-minded to it and that it’s going to come down to the teachers: what are they capable of doing? Can they figure all this stuff out? Can they bring their enthusiasm and their knowledge through? There’s still a lot that can be done; it’s not the end of it, it’s just a different format. 

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