Golden Apple: Mark Robinson helping students fall in love with learning

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday, KRQE News 13 met Mark Robinson, a high school teacher at St. Pius who hopes his students fall in love with learning the way he did.

You can learn a lot about history in Mark Robinson’s class at St. Pius. If you listen closely, you can also learn how Mr. Robinson feels about teaching.

Robinson has been teaching for almost 25 years.

“They’re 14-year-olds, they have moments when, God bless them, they do dumb things, but their hearts are in the right place, and if I can capture that natural excitement that they bring into a classroom, it’s a joy everyday,” Robinson said.

Part of the joy is getting them to ask the big questions.

“What does liberty mean for a country? What does it mean to live in a society that’s just? What’s the right response when a society is not just?” Robinson asked his students.

He’s also available for more personal questions from his students.

“She said, ‘Mr. Robinson, do you think I could be a good lawyer?’ and I looked at her and I said, ‘I think you’d be a great lawyer,'” Robinson said. “She looked at me kind of surprised and said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘You speak really well, you love to argue in this classroom, you’re good at it, you know how to support an argument, it brings you joy. I think you’re wonderful at it.'”

“She walked out and I could tell she was lighter, she felt more happy, she felt more joyful, and it was a privilege to draw that out of her, to have her realize what she could be, how she could make a difference in the world,” Robinson said.

Above all, he’s a teacher who wants to share his own passion for learning.

“I want them to leave the class with the idea that learning is always exciting, that there is always something new that they can find, that there are questions to ask that not everybody’s going to come up with the same answers to those questions. That it’s OK for people of goodwill to disagree, but the questions are themselves exciting,” Robinson said.

Robinson credits much of his success to some of the inspiring teachers he had in high school and college.

If you know an outstanding middle school teacher, the Golden Apple Foundation is accepting nominations through April 30.

Golden Apple 2017.