By Melanie L.
Growing up Mr. Nelson had a lot of role models to influence his interest in teaching, including his mother and father. His father was a teacher at Needham public schools and his mother was a professor at Babson College. “I’ve always felt I was meant to be a high school teacher,” said Mr. Nelson. [I] couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Mr. Nelson went to the University of New Hampshire for all four years, then took a year off and went to Stanford University. He decided to go to Stanford University because his parents thought that it was a great opportunity and because he had been in New England his entire life.
After he went to Stanford, he moved back to New England and started coaching at a school called The New Hampton school. Derrick Nelson coached basketball and assisted in football for twelve years. He then taught at Laconia High School for two years. In 1999, he started teaching at Duxbury High School and has been teaching almost all grades at Duxbury high school for 20 years. He has stuck with this profession for so long because “It’s the only life I’ve known and it becomes increasingly more difficult, there are more demands every year and I think I’m good at what I do and can make a difference academically and behaviorally in a kids life.” When asked how students have changed since he first started teaching he said, “Students have not changed other than the obvious fact that technology has but Parents definitely have, they have become more enabling of their children.”
His favorite class to teach is Freshman Biology “ because I love to have an impact on kids that are starting high school so they can learn work ethic at an early age”.
He finds it most important for students to “ get to class on time because if you get there on time I can work with you and solve any problem academically but if your missing class time your missing instruction and it is harder to become successful.”
To help him grow as a teacher he tries to learn, “ what students find most difficult and I try to make it easily accessible to them”
Teagan C. thinks that “Mr. Nelson’s methods of teaching are very funny and quirky so it makes me want to learn more.” she also says “ I remember most things on tests because I will remember a quirky thing that Mr. Nelson has said.”