I think I’ll use some photos to introduce myself.
First of all, why all the pictures of me in silly pajamas? A few years ago, I was trying to inspire my class to get excited about the school fundraiser. One of their favorite ideas was having me wear Batman pajamas and, to be even funnier, I should go shoeless. “Barefoot Batman” was how they described the incentive. We easily reached our goal that year and a tradition was born! Batman proved to be popular for the next couple of years. Two years ago, Superman was added to the outfits. For 2018/2019, with many of the same kids for the second year in a row, they wanted new outfits: panda, unicorn, Dory, Tennessee Vols, and a Florida Gator (I’m an Alabama fan).
As we all know, during the last school year our time showing up physically at JBE was cut short. Because of this, my class (and many others in the school) didn’t get a chance to receive their incentives. Because of this, I don’t have a lot of new photos to share with you. We did take one set of me in unicorn PJs, but missed out on the rest. They were disappointed about that.
You’ll probably see pictures of me in a Batman outfit in several places throughout the year. I do this as a reminder that, even though we will work hard this year, we’ll also have fun. With all the stress that school can bring, I think it’s important that you remember that your teacher is willing to do just about anything to make learning easier. So, when you see me in that silly outfit, take a breath, relax, and remember to smile!
I was born many years ago in St. Augustine. I was adopted by a young couple who lived there. My family didn’t stay around for long, though. We moved quite a few times. My parents, younger brother, and I lived in several different cities in North Carolina (most notably Charlotte), as well as Atlanta, Valdosta, and Gainesville, Ga. During that time, I played youth sports and developed a love for reading.
After high school, I went to the University of Alabama and earned my degree in Elementary Education. I was lucky enough to see Paul “Bear” Bryant coach his final season during my freshman year. After moving so much as a child, I decided to settle down in Tuscaloosa, staying for the next 24 years. The definite highlight of my time there was meeting my wife, Vicky. She is also an Alabama alumnus and we are both rabid fans of the Crimson Tide, as my students find out pretty quickly. (Don’t worry, though. I’ve had and tolerated Florida, FSU, Tennessee, and even Auburn fans in my room.) I missed the ocean, though, and we finally moved back to Florida in 2006. It was my good fortune to get a teaching job at Jacksonville Beach Elementary. Vicky teaches at Mandarin High School.
Vicky and I like to travel, especially on cruises. We love the water and enjoy spending as much time there as possible. You’ll notice I haven’t posted a picture of her here. That’s because I would be in huge trouble if I did. So, you’ll have to settle for a photo taken by her of me on a Caribbean beach during one of our vacations. In addition to hanging out near a beach, I like to spend my leisure time scuba diving, reading, and watching Alabama football.
While we don’t have any children, Vicky and I both love dogs. After losing our longtime pet basset hound, Tipper, in 2013, we waited about a year before deciding that it was time to welcome another puppy into our home. Our Yorkie, Gracie, is six years old now and absolutely spoiled rotten. By the way, she also dons Crimson Tide apparel during football season.
I recently had an amazing life experience. As I wrote earlier, I was adopted at birth. Well, a couple of years ago I took a DNA test to see my ethnic heritage and find out if there were any relatives around. In April of 2018, I received a response from an aunt who lives in Jacksonville! She quickly put me in touch with my birth parents, who live just outside of San Francisco. Within a couple of weeks, they flew here and we reunited for the first time in more than five decades. Since then, I’ve gone to California several times to meet and get to know my three sisters and their families. They’ve all been incredibly kind, loving, and accepting. I truly have a new family and they’re absolutely wonderful!
I love teaching at Jacksonville Beach Elementary School. Working with students who strive to learn, interacting with parents who take a positive active role in their child’s education, and collaborating with professionals who love the art of teaching has been a joy. From teaching math and science to working with the school play to fulfilling fundraising pledges by dressing in silly pajamas (and getting wrapped in TP and hit with shaving cream), it’s been a pleasure to work at JBE these past fourteen years. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
P.S. It was even fun getting taped to the wall the past three years! I hope we can do it again this spring!
Now that you know a bit about me, I’d like to know a little about you. For this week’s homework, you need to do the following: 1) show you know how to leave a comment about what you’ve just read by doing so in the space below (your comment won’t post until I approve it), then 2) click on the homework page link and complete the questions. This assignment is due Sunday night (August 23).
101 thoughts on “About Mr. Van”
Hi Mr.Van I am so happy to have you as my teacher. From what i have heard you are a great teacher wait never mind, you are amazing.
It was fun reading about you
I am very excited to be in your class this year! We were able to toilet paper and shaving cream you last year during the fund run.
I loved the unicorn PJs
I am so happy to be in your class this year
I will have a great time and I like your dog Gracie
I am so happy that i got into your class Mr.Van and i am so excited to be learning science and social studies with you!!
Hi Mr. Van, I really enjoyed reading about your history. I am excited to be in your class! 😃
I’m glad you liked reading it, Nishka. And I’m very happy to be your teacher!
Hi, Mr.Van interesting story and looking forward being with you the whole school year.
Thank you, Sudhish. I’m excited about this year!
Hi Mr.Van I really love being in your class. I can’t believe you were adopted at birth and you and me loveee dogs. I can’t be more happier to have you as my teacher.
Thanks, Ananya! I’m excited to be your teacher! Aren’t dogs great? Gracie loves having me at home. She stays in my lap all day long.
Hi Mr Van. I’m reeeeeaaaaallly exited for Fifth Grade! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you and your family are doing well.
You’re welcome, Lily. And I’m excited too!
I loved taping you to the wall the year before last! I am excited for this year!
I’m glad you liked it, Evan! I’ve done it three years in a row now, so I’m hoping we can make it four in a row.
Thanks for sharing this with us!!
You’re welcome, Akshay! I hope you had a great first day.
Hey Mr. Van. I am really excited for this school year. Just so you know I am a huge Virginia sports fan. I’m excited to have you as my teacher.
Hi, Connor! I’d love to talk some ACC sports with you. I lived in North Carolina when I was a kid and became a rabid UNC basketball fan. I’ve also been told that you like the New orleans Saints. Is that true?
It is great to know more about you i am really happy to be in your class
I’m happy to have you as my student, Samhitha! I look forward to getting to know you better this year.
Thats a cool and interesting history I am so exited to be in your class!
Thanks, Hitesh! I’m glad you liked readng my story. I think we’re going to have wonderful year.
hi am so exited going to fifth grade
Fifth grade is a fun and interesting year, Arnav. I’m glad you’re looking forward to it.
Hi Mr. Van Thanks for telling me your story. I really excited to be in your class this year!!!!
You’re welcome, Siya. I’m happy to be your teacher!
It was fun to learn more about you Mr. Van
Thanks, Muhriz! I’m glad you liked my story.
I love your dog its so cute
Thanks, Charan! She’s spoiled rotten and loves that I’m teaching from home.
Mr.Van i will love learning with you this year
Thanks, Sanjay! I think it’s going to be a good year.
Hello Ms. Van it was fun learning about you
I’m glad you liked reading it, Emma!
Hi Mr.Van you you have a very interesting life, i cannot wait to learn from you this year!
Thanks, Sreyanth! I’m really happy to be your teacher!
Nice to know more about you see you virtual.
Thanks, Grant! I hope you enjoyed your first day.
Wow , Mr. Van , our life is very interesting I know this year will be great!
I’m glad you liked it, Derek! And I think you’re right about this year!
Hello Mr. Van! Your story was very interesting and I can’t wait to learn from you!
Thank you, Ashwin! I’m really looking forward to this year!
Wow! Mr.Van you have a fascinating History. I can’t wait to see what you are going to teach us.
I’m glad you liked reading about my life, SaiJithesh. It’s going to be a fun year!
yay I got him…….It is Mr.Van!
Hi Mr.Van! I am so glad to have you as my switch teacher this year! You have an interesting life!
Thanks, Maahi! I’m happy to be your teacher this year.
Thank for telling me your story. I’m happy to be in your class.
You’re welcome, Jay! I’m glad you’re in my class.
Thank you for sharing information about yourself Mr. Van. I am really exited to be in your class this year. Go Big Blue!
I’m glad you’re in my class this year, too! And Alabama plays Kentucky this year in football (I hope)!
Hi, Mr. Van I am exited to be in your class, I cant wait for school to start!
I’m very happy to have you in my class, Kiley. See you tomorrow!
hello Mr. Van i am so sorry i have answered late i have been somewhere, i am so excited to be in you’re class!
Hi, Mariam! I’m glad you’re in my class too!
Hi Mr Van. It was fun reading about you and can’t wait for tomorrow to start school and meet you.
I’m glad you liked my story, Rowen. I’m looking forward to meeting you soon!
Hi Mr. Van. I’m excited to be in your class and happy to know more about you.
Hi, Arjun! It’s great to have you in my class. See you tomorrow!
Hello Mr. Van ,
I am so thrilled to join your class. After reading about you I am even more excited and looking forward to start this year with you.
I’m glad you liked my story, Arah! I think we’re going to have a wonderful year.
It’s so amazing to be in your class Mr. Van!
I can’t wait for the school year to begin!😁
Hi, Eleanor! I’m ready for school to get started too!
Hi Mr. Van! It is thrilling to be in your class this year. Your past is very interesting.
Thanks, Nichole! I’m excited to have you in my class.
Hello Mr. Van! I loved your presentation! I can’t wait to see you in the online orientation. I look forward to seeing you this year.
WAR EAGLE, Judson
Hi, Judson! It sounds like we’ll have some football to discuss this year. I had an Auburn fan in my room a few years ago and we had a lot of fun talking sports.
Hello Mr Van! You have a amazing history and I’m excited to be in your class!
I’m glad to have you in my class too, Cassidy! I’m looking forward to getting to know you.
Hi Mr.Van I had a fantastic time reading about you. Also I can’t wait till we see each other, on the computer.
Hi, Saanvi! I’m glad you liked my story. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday!
Hi I am very excited to be in your class this year. My brother Max really enjoyed your class and I think I will to.
It’s great to have you in my class, Sam! I think we’ll have a really good time this year. I hope Max is doing well.
My name is Alice and I am very excited to be in your class!
Hi, Alice! I’m excited to be your teacher! I think this is going to be an amazing year!
I am so excited to be in your class this year. I love science!!! i am looking forward to seeing you in unicorn pajamas!
I love science too, Saira! I’m going to do my best to make our virtual science class interesting and fulfilling. I’m sure you’ll get the chance to see me in those unicorn PJs before long!
You have a very interesting life I look forward to learn with you
Hi, Ruthvik! I’m looking forward to this year as well. It will be an interesting time.
Hi Mr. Van, i am really excited for 5th grade. Your story was amazing and interesting to read. Thank you
Hello, Adithi! This will be an exciting and fun year! I’m glad you enjoyed my story and I’m looking forward to hearing about you.
Hello Mr. Van!
I am so excited to go into fifth grade! I know it will be a great experience as well as a new thrill. Thank you for sharing!
I’m happy that you’re excited and ready for fifth grade, Alysa! We’re going to have a great year!
You have a cool life. Can you bring your dog sometimes? I look forward to school with you.
Thanks, Vincent! Since I’m going to be teaching from home for a while, I’ll be happy to let you see Gracie every now and then. She’s going to be very excited that I’m able to stay home with her all day.
Hi, Mr. Van can’t wait for you to start teaching us.
I’m excited about this year too, Nikhil! I’ll see you soon!
Hi Mr. Van My name is Akhil. I think it is nice of you to be open and showing your life and experience to us!!!!!!!!!!!
Hello, Akhil! I really think it makes school better for all of us if we get to know each other. I’m looking forward to hearing more about you.
It is great to know more about you and I am looking forward to being in your class! 😄
P.S. My class got to TP and shaving cream you last year! 🧻
Hello, Kashvi! I’m happy to be your teacher this year. I remember getting TPed and shaving creamed by your class last year. If you want, I have some photos of it that I can share with everyone. And maybe you’ll get the chance to do it again this year!
Wow! You have a very interesting life, I can’t wait to start school with all my friends and teachers.
Hi, Jonathan! I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.
Hi Mr. Van: My name is Ardyn, Addison’s sister. I have heard a lot about your class from her and looking forward to having fun in your class. I love that you got to meet your family! Family is super important!
Thanks for telling me your story. Even though some of my friends aren’t in my class I’m really excited to be in your class.
I’m excited to have you in my class too, Anish. I’m looking forward to learning more about you as well.
Thanks, Ardyn! I think this is going to be a fun year. Please tell Addison “hi” for me!
😄 Hi Mr.Van I really enjoyed reading about your history!!!
I am so excited to be in your class this year!
P.S Some of my friends were in your class last year
I’m glad you liked it, Saanvi! Who do you know from last year’s class?