Jehan Silva: teaching the most important subject


Photo by Shravan Kannepalli

In Jehan Silva’s eighth period Honors English 10 class on May 31, he grades synthesis essays while conversing with students.

Eighth period Honors English 10 class continues to discourse as the teacher steps up to the board and begins his lesson. He always begins by mentioning the overarching theme of the lesson even though the knows students don’t seem to care. Then the seminar commences as the teacher tries to incorporate every single subject possible into the lesson. The question on everyone’s mind is how does he do it?

Jehan Gruber Silva has been interested in becoming a teacher since high school due to the positive and negative experiences he had with certain teachers. He prefers that students focus on learning before worrying about their grade. “The most difficult part of my school was junior and senior year personally and academically. I had gotten by with my smartness and last minute work. I was not ready for the amount of stress I endured,” Silva said.

Silva attended high school at Poolesville where he was in the humanity and arts magnet program. After completing high school he studied at McDaniel College for his undergraduate degree and later completed graduate school at Grand Canyon University. He earned bachelors and masters degrees in education. “I feel like being a high school teacher allows me to treat students with a level of respect that younger students like middle schoolers are not capable of. Also, I can teach more complex concepts and have a larger impact on students,” Silva said.

Media has now expanded from books and has transitioned into digital formats. These include movies, TV shows and audio books. Silva often tries to incorporate different types of media into his lessons, which display concepts he explains and help students connect with it better. He believes it is important to view media in the way that best expresses one’s interests. If you’re not enjoying a certain type of media, you need to find something that caters to your interests, according to Silva. Even while watching TV shows, Silva ensures that students can create interpretations of what’s going on and even write a paper on it if they choose to. “Language is something that follows the interpretation of the text. In the book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, an interpretation of the text can be based around how dialect affects understanding,” senior Jordan Cole Sanni said.

The education system will always have problems according to Silva. However, he believes that we must work around these problems and learn to the best of our abilities. Education is centered around getting good grades. This is a problem that prevents students from learning fully, according to Silva. “Grades are something which should be reflected on learning but if students are solely focused on that it takes away from the message I try to convey,” Silva said.

A connection between students and teachers is important for classes to have a good environment, according to Silva. Often students and teachers are not on the same page. “Teachers need to be more transparent with students while students need to be more empathetic towards teachers,” Silva said.