ROCKFORD (WREX) – Brian Maier is a history, economics, and business law teacher at Guilford High School. He uses his wit and humor to capture students attention and engage them in the course’s topics.
“I trick them into listening to me, I can be a little bit goofy and wacky in class, but its all intended to keep their attention and trick them into learning the concepts,” Maier said.
And his students claim his tactics are very effective.
“He keeps kids engaged with his funny jokes his witty comments,” student Mauricio Lavariega said.
Lavariega said Maier uses funny examples that reoccur throughout lessons and classes, and those examples really stick in his mind.
“Helps me remember stuff a lot more,” Lavariega said. “You just think back to that moment when you are taking the test and you’re like ‘oh yeah, that’s what it is.'”
Maier said he tends to use examples that are more relevant to high schoolers, especially in economics, because at times, the curriculum can seem irrelevant.
“In economics I’ll talk about prices at Beef-a-Roo. If Beef-a-Roo had a dollar shake week, then that’s why the demand for shakes went up, because the price went down,” he said . “I think it makes them feel that it might be useful to them in their lives.”
Maier didn’t always plan to be a teacher, he first worked in a large law firm in Chicago before deciding to make a career change. He said practicing law became a negative thing for him as a person, and as his oldest child was about to be born he wanted to be in a more positive atmosphere.
“I left my job with the law firm in Chicago, and two years later I was hired by Yolanda Simmons here at Guilford to be a teacher and now this is my 17th year,” he said.
And it turned out to be a calling. His students said it is obvious that Maier loves his job, and not only that, he is very good at his job.
“When he teaches he really knows what hes talking about,” student Robert Jacobson said.
Lavariega said he is unlike other teachers who just give information without any explanation, he actually teaches the material.
Maier is also a very traditional teacher who strays away from technology, and instead opts for the blackboard. But, Lavariega said it doesn’t matter what he uses, he is just good at teaching the material because he knows it so well.
“I don’t think you need a SmartBoard to be a good teacher,” Lavariega said.