Ron Blackburn and Eric Belz talk about challenges, hopes, dreams at Gull Lake

Ron Blackburn hopes that Gull Lake will become a closer community

Ron Blackburn, woodworking and technical drawing teacher, has been teaching here at Gull Lake High School for 30 years. 

Throughout the time Blackburn has been here, Gull Lake has changed.

“It’s gotten more technologically advanced. We teach more by teaching students ways to learn how to learn, instead of just teaching them information,” Blackburn said.

During woodworking class, students learn how to cut and sand wood. Students can design something unique and their own. 

Ron Blackburn teaches his first block woodworking class how to use machines correctly. Photo by Charlotte Zervic.

Blackburn said his favorite part of being a woodworking teacher was working with students and seeing the projects they create on their own.

“They are more capable than they think they are,” Blackburn said. 

His said his biggest challenge in woodworking is getting students that don’t have much confidence to actually work and get projects done.

Technical drawing is a class where students learn how to draw very precise and detailed objects, and can be used for layouts.

Blackburn said he hopes that Gull Lake will “continue to work on teaching through technology, and that we will, as a school, come together in supporting everybody.” 

He also said he hopes that students will become a closer community of students.

Eric Belz competes with volleyball and phones

Eric Belz, who has been a teacher for 26 years now, has taught many math classes at Gull Lake High School. Ranging from pre-algebra to pre-calculus, Belz has gained a lot of experience. Currently, Belz is teaching Data and Analysis A for the first time. He teaches this all school day. 

Eric Belz teaches his first block class, which is Data and Analysis A. This is his first year teaching this class. Photo by Charlotte Zervic.

Belz said that only teaching this one class all day is helpful because he is also very busy with his volleyball team. 

“It’s an awesome season, but it’s a long season… and to be able to only have one prep is very helpful,” Belz said.

His favorite part of teaching is when a student who doesn’t think they can do the work suddenly realizes they can. Belz’s hardest challenge is the student’s use of phones in the class.  

“They can’t focus they way that they used to.” Cell phones have become a huge distraction in his classes. Things that should be much easier for them to grasp in a class have become much harder,” Belz said.

Belz said that Gull Lake’s education has changed since he began his teaching career. 

“Technology amazingly has changed it, but only if you use it the right way, Belz said.” 

Belz first years of teaching didn’t have the complex technology as there is now. In the past, there weren’t many outside resources for help. Now, students can use the internet for help, with a website that Belz has created. You can visit it here. This website has videos that Belz has put up to help his students understand what they are learning. 

In the future, Belz said he hopes that there is a switch with phones.

“I feel like sometimes it’s tough for kids to have conversations since they communicate with their phones,” Belz said, “and that causes a lot of stress and anxiety for kids.” 

Kayla Hampton

Kayla Hampton

I am a sophomore at Gull Lake High School. I had been at Gull Lake since kindergarten, then I moved to Portage Central Middle School in seventh grade. I moved back to Gull Lake halfway through eighth grade. I play volleyball, and I have been playing for five years. I run track events, and I am trying out for basketball this year. I have only played basketball one year, and that was in 7th grade. I like to listen to music and hangout with friends and family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.