Being at his best the key for Mostert

“I was inspired to be a teacher by the worst teacher I’ve ever had,” World History teacher Mr. Brendon Mostert admitted on his own less than ideal high school experience with worksheet learning and lazy teachers. 

“If I can’t be a better teacher than her, I’ll quit, I’ll get out. If I’m as bad as her and inspire people to be teachers because I suck so bad, I’ll get out of teaching,” Mostert joked, yet he has done quite the opposite during his time at North Penn and wants to continue to make positive impacts on his students in the future. 

For him, it’s not really about the history content, it’s about the experiences his students bring to the classroom. History class is a boring subject for a large population of students, even Mostert would agree. But to him, it’s all about how that history is presented in a way that connects with his students so they can apply it to the real world.

“I don’t come to school because I love history, I come to school because I want to teach students,” Mostert expressed. “I come to school for them, and so in theory, there’s some students out there who come to see me too.”

I don’t come to school because I love history, I come to school because I want to teach students.

— Brendan Mostert, NPHS World History Teacher

And some students do. Many of Mostert’s students would agree that his class is one of their best out of the day.

“He actually engages in meaningful conversations with students,” student Nick Bressler said. “We’re being talked to instead of talked at for 47 minutes.”

Mostert encourages creativity in his class and while the conversation may stray from the planned topic of that day, many students say the unplanned occurrences are their favorite aspects of the class. Mental Health Mondays, Would you Rather Wednesdays, and Fun Fact Fridays start off the class to get the students engaged and thinking.

“My favorite part is the beginning of class. We talk and we don’t do anything history related,” student Alexis Charles said, always taking part in the conversations.

But when history eventually becomes the topic of conversation, it’s not as boring as it might be for students who already got the chance to converse with their classmates. 

“The things that happen in history are not that different from the things we deal with everyday,” Mostert reflected. “The more we can see ourselves in history the more important it is and the more people understand it can learn from it”

Mostert believes that the actual history aspect of the course is significantly less important than the skills learned through consuming history. History matures people and widens the social compass to accept different cultures and backgrounds, which is a vital aspect of being a human being.

“Even when we do talk about history, it’s not the worst,” student Angelina Soedjartanto expressed. “In other classes when you talk about history it’s like, oh sleep time, but it’s not like that in this class. It’s fun.”

When school was fully virtual, Mostert had a hard time connecting with his students, not only because of the barrier through the computer, but because of the lack of conversation. In a normal classroom, the class is loud with arguments on things not even related to history. 

“As much as I try to build the community environment, it’s still not the same. There’s still a barrier between what I’m trying to do and my students,” Mostert expressed.

But with the increase of students in the building, things are slowly returning back to normal both outside and inside of the classroom.

“Some people are going through really difficult circumstances, just showing up to school and being able to stick with it, that requires a lot. Even if you’re not doing well in school,” Mostert said. “I don’t believe that having good grades makes you a good person, nor do I think the opposite. The vast majority of my students are really good people and they’re willing to listen and show up and they’re trying and I think that’s important.”

In today’s environment, students are so stressed and pressured to get good grades, go to work, and think about their futures that sometimes all they need is a break during the day where they can just sit and talk. That’s Mostert’s goal. To be a welcome place where students can feel comfortable to take a break from the stresses of their day all while learning world history.