Social studies teacher Alexander Parker balances being a teacher and coaching hockey.
Parker has been playing hockey for 15 years and had been a coach since 2016. In third grade Parker played soccer, but went to Washington Capital hockey games with his dad and was intrigued by the sport. After that year of going to watch hockey games, Parker decided to start playing. He did not play ice hockey until sixth grade. Parker played as a forward on his team. “No one in my family even played hockey. I got interested in the sport through watching it and when I started playing I fell in love with it,” Parker said.
In 2016 to 2017 Parker was in Serbia and Hungary teaching hockey to children under 10 years old and also teaching. He also played pro. In 2017 Parker came back and was offered a full time job as a teacher here. He took the job, but had to turn down the offer to go back to Serbia and Hungary. “Being in Serbia and Hungary was so much fun and I made a lot of memories there, but thinking about my future, I decided to teach instead. Teaching at Wootton is a great experience and I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to teach here,” Parker said.
Being a coach of a school team, a club team, playing on an adult league and being a teacher can be challenging and hard to manage. From September until March is hockey season and it is difficult to stay on top of work while also being a coach. “There are some days I have to rush to the rink straight from school to make it in time for a varsity game. Then after that finishes I have a junior varsity game. Then I eat dinner at the rink and right after I eat I have a travel league game. Then I have to play in my adult league. Those days are very tough. During the hockey season I bring home no work from school, instead I work hard during my planning periods and lunch to get everything I need done,” Parker said.
Parker coaches the school hockey team, which went to states last year. “I am new to the team and Mr. Parker made it easy for me to feel included and made it an enjoyable sport,” freshman Conor Harris said.
Parker aspires to teach students important life lessons that are memorable for every student. He teaches students how to be independent, open minded, a contributing member of society and how to be prepared for life. “He makes class fun and a class that I look forward to going to. He does not stick to a certain curriculum and tries to incorporate life experiences as much as possible,” senior Sufiya Van Gieson said.
Parker’s whole life is not all about teaching and hockey. He also enjoys playing golf and volleyball in his free time and enjoys the months when he is not coaching because he can relax and spend time with family including second cousin and social studies teacher Bryce Coon and friends, while also traveling to new places.