Michael Posey is a new teacher at Leigh, and this is his first year teaching AP U.S. History. Living in San Jose for the past 24 years, he has been involved in the Campbell District for 22 years: this is his second time at Leigh, he was a dean here before. He has been a teacher, a dean, a principal, and a member of the superintendent staff.
Q: Why did you come to Leigh High School?
A: I asked to come to Leigh High. When I was part of the superintendent staff, I missed being on a campus, I missed interacting with the students. So I asked to be reassigned and they sent me to Leigh High School.
Q: Where have you taught before?
A: Westmont High School.
Q: Have you taught any other history classes or any other subjects?
A: When I was at Westmont I taught a range of things. I taught U.S. History, for several years I taught World History, I taught American Government, I taught a class called Introduction to Social Studies, I taught Geography, I taught Public Speaking for one year, and I led the Speech and Debate team.
Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I got my bachelor’s degree at Cal Poly in history. Then I got two master’s degrees, one in history and one in high school education at San Jose State.
Q: Did you always want to be a teacher when you were growing up?
A: No, I had a couple of things that I thought I wanted to be when I was little. One was a police officer when I was a little kid. I thought about being a history teacher when I was in high school but I also had an interest in going into the military too. So I was kind of up in the air when I was going into college, where I was going to land.
Q: Have you always lived in the Bay Area?
A: I grew up in Monterey, born and raised there. Then I moved to San Luis Obispo for a while to go to college. Then I went back to Monterey for a short period of time and then moved to San Jose 24 years ago.
Q: What principles do you use to motivate students?
A: I like to use humor a lot in the class, I like to have fun. There is a little bit of story telling along with all the stuff that we do, activities, the lecture, and stuff like that. Although we are serious about the work that we are doing.
Q: Why did you choose to be a teacher?
A: I have always enjoyed history. I always thought that it was a natural thing for me to do, to become a teacher. I always had an interest in military history in particular so it wasn’t until about college when I started thinking how I was going to apply it. I was either going to go into the Navy or get my credential to teach history.
Q: What do you like about Leigh High School?
A: There are a lot of things that I like about Leigh High School, so it is hard to put a finger on just one of them. First of all, it’s near my community. It’s a good school, it’s got a good staff, I enjoy the students and always have, and I just think it’s a nice environment.