From peer to career: Dr. Michael Voicheck

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From peer to career: Dr. Michael Voicheck

Dr. Michael Voicheck is one of many teachers who have graduated from North Penn.

Dr. Michael Voicheck is one of many teachers who have graduated from North Penn.

Michael Voicheck

Dr. Michael Voicheck is one of many teachers who have graduated from North Penn.

Michael Voicheck

Michael Voicheck

Dr. Michael Voicheck is one of many teachers who have graduated from North Penn.

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This week, we’ll be featuring Dr. Michael Voicheck as one of the many North Penn alums that came back here for their career.

What is your background?

I have a teaching degree in Technology Education from Virginia Tech. Go Hokies! My masters is in classroom technology from Wilkes University. Lastly, my doctorate is in educational leadership, from Immaculata University. In middle school and through high school, I always had a summer job of mowing lawns and teaching woodshop at a local summer camp. However, working here has been my only job, and I hope to retire from here in 2038.

When you were a student, did you think you’d come back?

NOPE! I went to college in Virginia, joined the Air Force ROTC in college and planned on becoming a pilot. I thought I’d be long gone from Lansdale. My backup plan was engineering, but four calculus courses during my freshman year ruined me. Also, the ROTC thing didn’t work out either. That left me with some tough choices.

Main differences between your time as a student & a staffer?

Besides getting paid to be here, the days go by very quickly as a teacher. I spent three years here as a student, and I’m currently in year 18 of teaching. It still feels like it’s only been a few years since I’ve left. The biggest difference has to be the level of responsibility. In high school, you’re generally responsible for yourself, and that’s it. Students don’t know how much work goes into being prepared for another lesson. Lastly, we didn’t have things wasting our life away, like phones, the internet, and social media.

When starting your job at NP, were any aspects easier because of your experience there as a student?

I knew a handful of teachers and I knew my way around the building. I still use the maps in E, F, and D pod so I don’t go the wrong way.

When starting at NP, was anything more difficult or unexpected because of your experience there as a student?

Unless I’m reading this question poorly, no. It’s hard for any teacher to start out at 22 years old, instructing kids that are barely a handful of years younger than you. Many of my teachers were still here. I have only a couple left, including Mr.Boyer, Mrs. Wakefield, and Mr. Bartle.

Biggest change since you were a student?

K-pod! Where did that come from? And, the amazing Engineering Academy! Most kids have no idea that they can take engineering courses in high school, and that they are on-par and in-depth in complexity of courses you would find in college. Students are different too. I feel that students are completely distracted. From smart watches and smartphones we are cultivating a generation of individuals who can’t follow instructions or pay attention long enough to remember anything. Students are finding more and more ways to communicate via their cellphones, but since there are so many, it’s just background noise and completely ineffective. Kids are losing touch with their surroundings and literally wasting their lives away on their phones. It’s sad, extremely sad.

Main thing that’s stayed the same since you were a student?

Honestly, the mindset of a passionate teaching staff and support staff that run this place has always been present. It takes a crazy amount of work to run this place on any level, from keeping the hallways lit, clean, and quiet. Our staff here is amazing.