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Faculty Focus: March 2020

March 2, 2020

Midway through his fourth year at Fenwick, Woodridge, IL native Mr. Timothy Menich enjoys teaching biology and anatomy/physiology.

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What is your educational background?

TM: I have a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Spanish with a minor in secondary education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I also have a M.S. in Biology from Clemson University. 

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?

TM: Teaching at Fenwick was my first job out of college. But throughout my college career I was a barista, chemistry teaching assistant and a coordinator for an after-school program.

What are you currently reading for enjoyment?

TM: I am currently reading The President Is Missing by James Patterson. I do not do a whole lot of reading for enjoyment, but when I do, it is almost always a book by James Patterson. 

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?

TM: I am a total political junkie so I spend a lot of time outside of the classroom following all of the political articles and polls that come out on a daily basis. I also enjoy playing volleyball when I can find the time and spending time with my dog, Sawyer. 

To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?

TM: As a student [at Benet Academy in Lisle], I played volleyball and was involved in student council, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Recycling Club and my school’s peer leading program.

Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick?

TM: At Fenwick, I coach the JV boys’ volleyball team and the freshman girls’ volleyball team. I also run the Medical Club, the Ecology of the Rainforest program and trip to Costa Rica, and am one of the adult leaders for the Shield program.

What quality/characteristic marks a Fenwick student?

TM: The quality that most stands out to me in a Fenwick student is ambition. The students at Fenwick are all so driven to succeed not only in the classroom but also in all areas of their lives. 

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?

TM: From as early on as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. In fact, many of my grade school teachers told my parents during conferences that it was clear I wanted to be in charge of a classroom. Ultimately, I think that I chose to become a teacher because I found helping students understand complicated topics through engaging and creative lessons to be a truly rewarding and enjoyable experience. 

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?

TM: I think one of my personal strengths as a teacher is that I am not afraid to try new things in the classroom. A lot of teachers can get stuck doing the same lessons year after year because they are comfortable with them and know that they work. I am not one of those teachers. I am constantly looking for new labs to try that I believe could help students better learn certain topics and skills and that take advantage of the technology we have available to us. It can be intimidating as a teacher to try something new, but I think my ability to get past that intimidation and try different labs and activities helps me to continue to grow as a teacher. 

What are your favorite classes to teach?

TM: My favorite class to teach is freshmen biology (college prep, honors or AP). We get to cover such a wide variety of topics in biology and use our lab periods to complete a lot of fun and engaging labs and activities. 

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?​

TM: The greatest success I have had in teaching was when a student that I had my first year at Fenwick emailed me to let me know that he had decided to become a high school science teacher after taking my anatomy class. It was a moment of validation for me as a teacher that my teaching style had inspired one of my students to pursue a career in the same field as me. 

What challenges face students today?​

TM: I think the greatest challenge that students face today is figuring out how to properly use technology as a resource for learning. Technology, for many students, can end up being a distraction and a hindrance to their learning. As teachers, I feel it is our job to embrace the technology we have available to us and guide students to use it in ways that will positively impact their learning process. 

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