Terça-feira, 23/1/2018 | : : UTC-5
The Reflection

Teacher Desk Profiles: Reggie Walters explains the mess that is his desk

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Math teacher Reggie Walters types at his desk as his second block class enjoys quiet work time. Photo by Sydney Rotigel-Finegan.

Among the Gull Lake High School staff, math teacher and baseball coach Reggie Walters considers his desk one of the most cluttered. A self-proclaimed ‘sea of papers’ overwhelms most of its surface, but, upon a closer glance, one might discover more unique trinkets amidst the clutter. The objects are varied―some pertaining to teaching, some to coaching, some to family―but all are related to his life in some way or another.

Frontmost on the desk, next to his devotional, rests a soft, nerf-like ball.

“For throwing the ball at my class,” Walters said.

Violent as this may sound, Walters implements the ball in his teaching often, both as a means of attention-getting and turn-taking. Walters also uses factoring tiles — taking up residence on the desk in a plastic bin– with his students, which he hopes makes the classroom setting more interactive.

“I try to make my math classes a little more hands-on,” Walters said. “It’s not always direct instruction; I try to do that as much as possible, but it depends on the class―if they can do it or handle the stimulation.”

Walters’ sizing jersey for incoming freshman players hangs behind him, partially obscuring the running count he keeps of student phones taken away. Photo by Sydney Rotigel-Finegan.

Alternatively, Walters tries to stimulate his students in a different way by playing music during work time. One of his favorite CDs lies by his computer: the soundtrack to “The Natural.”

“It’s a baseball movie; it’s entirely instrumental music, so we were doing it today in Calculus,” Walters said. “It’s a great soundtrack, and we were doing a ridiculous problem in class, so I put her on.”

Walters is passionate about baseball, inside and outside of inspirational movies―and inside and outside of class. Hanging from the railing above his whiteboard is a sizing jersey, and the room is studded with mementos from his predecessor, Bill Blakely.

Walters credits his abundance of keys to coaching baseball in three different buildings: Gull Lake’s middle school and high school, as well as the KVCC gym. 

“I’ve got this huge printer over here in the corner…that came to me from Coach Blakely when he left, now that he’s doing virtual,” Walters said. “I promised him that I was gonna hook it up one day and start using it, but I still haven’t hooked it up yet.”

Walters’ gym shirt still rests atop his printer 2 weeks after the interview was recorded. According to him, it’s still clean. Photo by Sydney Rotigel-Finegan.

Walters admits it’s a “monster printer” (albeit a nice one), and that, once the rather expensive ink cartridges have run out, “it’d be pointless.” The printer remains in the corner nonetheless.

Along with coaching, Walters enjoys working out, as evidenced by the athletic shirt thrown atop the aforementioned printer. Before presenting the shirt, he gave it the old sniff test, after which it was declared clean.

“I’ve got a workout shirt in the corner, because you never know―–go figure, right, ‘cause I like to work out a lot,” Walters said. “I don’t know why I still have it in the corner.”

Another gift from Blakely leans haphazardly in the opposite corner. .

“I’ve got a really cool yardstick over there that was Coach Blakely’s, which is pretty sentimental,” Walters said. “He told me ‘Don’t break it’ and it’s almost been broken once this year.”

Along with coaching, Walters enjoys working out, as evidenced by the athletic shirt thrown atop the aforementioned printer. Before presenting the shirt, he gave it the old sniff test, after which it was declared clean.

“I’ve got a workout shirt in the corner, because you never know―go figure, right, ‘cause I like to work out a lot,” Walters said. “I don’t know why I still have it in the corner.”

Walters keeps both calculators and kleenex at his desk for students in need.

“…for when I make all the kids cry,” he said. “I’m just kidding, but we’ve got a lot of sick kids in here.”

In turn, many have left him with gifts; most go home, but some are included in his desktop decor.

“My mug…was given to me by a former student, you know, because they always stole my coffee mug,” Walters said. “Now, granted, I’m not drinking any coffee right now, but it’s still on my desk.”

Though he hasn’t put it up yet this year, Walters usually displays a plaque on the wall behind his desk. It’s a signed negotiation between him and former student Steven Norton, accepting markers and granting the student in-class snacking privileges.

“He bought me my favorite kind of markers, which I couldn’t order at the time,” Walters said. “He purchased a bunch and he negotiated being able to eat in calculus class for the rest of the year, because I wouldn’t let anybody else eat in class.”

Walters’ favorite calendar is surrounded by many a math worksheet, but stands out nonetheless. Photo by Sydney Rotigel-Finegan.

While these gifts from students hold fond memories for Walters, his most sentimental items are those that remind him of his family.

“I have a really cool picture of Mackinac Island because my wife and I go there all the time,” Walters said. “Three times a year, probably.”

A picture of his three sons and a photo calendar made by his wife are tacked to the bulletin board as well.

“The most sentimental thing would probably be just the calendar here,” Walters said. “My wife spends a lot of time making the family picture calendar… so it’s got pictures of cool things that we did the year before; it’s always really fun and nice to see pictures from the year previous.”

When it comes to Walters’ desk, it seems to have expanded past its wooden surface–onto the walls and into the corners of the room. The space is occupied by a printer and a jersey and many, many, papers–but most of all, it’s occupied by Walters himself.

Walters keeps a lot of things from “years previous” in his desk of a room, and he sums it up best: “I have lots of stuff on my desk!”


About

I'm a senior and an OG student journalist (meaning I did it last year), but seeing as I love all things writing and current events, I figured I ought to combine the two and earn my journalism-legs. I tend to write what I'm passionate about (don't we all), whcih includes art, social issues, politics, entertainment, etc. My articles are primarily features and opinions. (Update: They're still features and opinions. Everything I write turns feature-y. Help.)

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Phone: (269)488-5020

Address: Gull Lake High School, 7753 N. 34th Street, Richland, MI 49083

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