Mr. Duncan Revealed

Mr.+Duncan+Revealed

Jessica Hoffman

Staff Writer 

Kevin Duncan, practically a freshman to the world of teaching, eagerly dives into his first year at the construction zone that is Keller.  He is not only classified as a “newby” at our school, but also in our beloved city. This native of Arlington has a lot of adjusting ahead, which will take some effort, but it is something he is willing to do regardless.

Teaching is a difficult and stressful trade to master, causing some students to wonder how teachers get the strength to continue dealing with sassy teenagers. Every teacher has his or her own drive to expand students’ minds; for Duncan, love is the biggest drive.

“I love teaching in of itself, so that helps. I [also] get the best students, so they make it pretty easy for me,” Duncan said. “But I guess a lot of strength comes from my love of government and my conviction that education is important. So just my adherence to that belief gives me my own ability to get up every morning.”

At age 8, Duncan decided that he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become a teacher. In order to bring this goal to life, he needed to get a great education. And what better way to get a great education than to attended three different colleges? After getting his Associate’s Degree from Tarrant County College and his Bachelor’s Degree from University of Texas at Arlington, Duncan finally grabbed hold of his Master’s Degree from American Public University.

As a toddler, Duncan regularly sat in front of the television, soaking up every little bit of information from the news that he could. So, it is no surprise that he became a government teacher, enthralled with past, current, and future events. Today, Duncan’s thirst for government is too strong to quench; resulting in a life dominated by it.

“I have an unnatural attraction to government,” Duncan said. “From an early age I had a weird relationship with the whole idea of government.”

So far, Duncan loves teaching here, even if the construction gets in the way. In fact, his favorite part of the day is his first period conference because it gives him time to think about the best and most intriguing way to deliver his lecture for that day. This being said, his least favorite part of the day is his fifth period conference because of the realization that he will not be able to teach, inspire, and interact with his students anymore for that day.

“Throughout the day I have kind of geared myself up and gotten my motor cranked,” Duncan said. “I have gone through three lectures, have had all of these interactions with the students, [and have gotten] more and more pumped to talk about government. So, by the time the end of fourth period rolls around, I have talked about government so much that I want to keep on talking about it and [interacting] with [my students] more, but I have to sit down and grade papers. That is a little bit frustrating because I just want to keep teaching and teaching and teaching and teaching.”

Duncan, the unique and “strange” guy that he is, does not follow generic teaching styles. Yes, he does have to lecture from time to time because that is inevitable, but he does not let that stop him from incorporating interactive games as much as he can. He is a big believer in gamification, or the process of turning every little thing into a game, and even considers having a day of class that is completely made up of games. But until that day happens, he is doing whatever it takes to keep his students enthralled in his lessons.

“I try to make [class] as interactive as possible,” Duncan said.  “I love interaction, it is better than just lecturing [because] we learn a lot better when we are doing. So, my teaching style is a little bit eccentric because I like to be very high energy when I am lecturing, but I also like to mix things up. I will try experimental things, things that I have read about, new strategies. Basically, I do whatever it takes to get ideas in my students’ heads.”

Duncan provides an open discussion and free opinion environment because he believes that the best way for a student to learn is to develop their own interests. He also believes that a student cannot be forced to learn anything, but instead he or she must be inspired to seek and obtain knowledge.

“I don’t believe that a teacher is a granter of knowledge,” Duncan said. “A teacher is more of a person who helps students develop a thirst for knowledge so that they want to learn. The only way for [the students] to want to learn is for them to develop their own interests, which they need to do by forming their own opinions. So if students are forming their own opinions, then they develop that thirst for knowledge that I think really should be the goal of every teacher.”

Even though he has not been working at this high school for very long, Duncan’s career can be chaotic at times. In fact, he describes his overall teaching experience as a “whirlwind.”

“A whirlwind is powerful, but it is also chaotic and it is very fast,” Duncan said. “A lot of my teaching experience has been with a lot of things going on… very fast, very strong, very important things with a little bit of chaos in there just to keep me on my toes. But my teaching experience has been good, it’s not a negative whirlwind, but it is very much a whirlwind because a lot of things are happening very fast and sometimes I really have to plant my feet or else I may get swept away.”