The Teacher Feature: Mr.Sweet

Kamal Sidhu, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Let’s get straight to the point. Well, 2,560 points to be exact. All hammered into a bed of nails by one man. A man whose passion and love for teaching exceeds expectations.

New physics teacher Michael Sweet last taught AP and honors physics at Jefferson High School in Tampa, Florida. The same place at which his assistant principal placed two 40 pound cinderblocks on his stomach and smashed them with a 20 pound sledge. All of this done as while laying on the bed of nails. The reason for this you ask? Only to demonstrate momentum to his students.

“I like teaching impulse momentum because there are so many applications to safe driving,” Mr. Sweet said. “You know, real world applications: seat belts, collisions, [and] I get to show cool car crashes.”

Sweet pursued his education at University of South Florida, getting his Bachelors degree in Psychology and also his Masters in Medical Sciences, specifically in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the USF College of Medicine.

“My first two years I spent at Florida College [because] both of my parents went there,” Mr. Sweet said. “My choices that were given to me by my parents were that I would either go to a military academy or pay my own way. They only asked me to go two years there, and then I could go wherever I wanted. So, there are far worst places you could end up than 30 minutes far from the beach.”

When asked how his first week at school went, Mr. Sweet could not hide a smile. The enthusiasm and new-found love for Keller could be spotted from a mile away.

“Awesome. In a word, Awesome,” Mr. Sweet said. “I absolutely love the students here! They are respectful, nice, and they want to learn. It’s really a great environment to be in. The student population is completely different [at Keller]. [Jefferson High School] was at a very inner-city school. Free/ reduced lunch rate was at 80 percent. So 80 percent of my students had free lunch or it was greatly reduced. Caucasian people were the minority. It was mostly Hispanic or African American.”

The students are also excited for the upcoming year. When talking to students about their opinions on Mr. Sweet, “funny” and “dedicated” were mentioned frequently.

“I think Mr. Sweet is a great addition to our faculty,” junior Emi Hobart said. “I can tell he is really quite passionate about learning, for the sake of learning. He actually cares that we get an education with a substance, because he values education, and this year is going to be a great one.”

In addition to teaching physics, Mr. Sweet is also the assistant swim coach. He has been helping swimmers with the weight room for 11 years.

“I think Mr. Sweet is a pretty awesome teacher,” junior Molly Olmos said. “He is smart, funny and he knows what he is doing. I feel bad for the kids on swim team because I have heard the horror stories from his relentless conditioning workouts.”

Balancing coaching and teaching requires Mr. Sweet to spend most of his day focused on students and how to enhance their skills.

“I don’t sleep,” Mr. Sweet said. “I am up every morning at 4:30 am, at the Natatorium at about 5:45 am and I am on the school campus by 9 am. I usually stay here until at least 5 pm or later. Then I go home, eat, workout, and grade papers. Then I go to bed at 11 pm or midnight. So I get about 4 hours of sleep.”

If you want to stop by and say hello to our new teacher, or ask him about what his newest physics quest will be, Mr. Sweet is located in room 213.