The student news publication of Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas

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The student news publication of Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas

Prospective Online

The student news publication of Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas

Prospective Online

Senior Burnout
May 15, 2024
Photo Illustration
The Next Step
May 15, 2024
Illustration of Bob Marley.
One Love
April 17, 2024
Senior Burnout
May 15, 2024
Photo Illustration
The Next Step
May 15, 2024
Illustration of Bob Marley.
One Love
April 17, 2024
Meet the Staff

Meet Elijah. Elijah is a sophomore this year and is excited to experience everything high school has to offer. He is a trumpet player for Bryant High’s award winning band. He’s been to loads...

TOTW: Shawn Regan

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photo Rachel Barber

Known for his unconventional method of teaching and the unique relationships he has with his students, English teacher Shawn Regan is a teacher who is appreciated for more than just his knowledge of the English language.

“I’ve always wanted to coach. When I played sports, I knew that I wanted to stay in it when I stopped, and my tenth grade year, I had a teacher named Harvey Smith, and he taught tenth grade English, and I had another teacher that was an art teacher named Kenneth Moore, but they were fantastic teachers. Maybe the best teachers I have ever been around,” Regan said. “They modeled that for me, and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be anything but a teacher and a coach.”

Finishing up his seventeenth year of teaching, making it five years here, Regan said the most rewarding thing about teaching is building relationships.

“When I was a younger teacher, I thought that it was about, not just being a role model, but delivering information, but I think I had it backwards. I think that I thought I was important because I had information that students didn’t, and that’s not true. Nowadays students have access to as much information as the teacher does,” he said. “I think the most important role of a teacher is to encourage, to inspire, to motivate the students, not just to learn, but, I know it’s corny and cliché, but to follow their dreams.”

Regan said he doesn’t push students to go to college, but just to do what they want to do with their life.

“I think if more teachers did that, students would be a lot more responsive to learning,” Regan said.

Many of Regan’s students, past and present, talk about enjoying his class, and Regan believes it’s because of how he treats his students.

“I don’t try to teach English. I don’t try to shove a curriculum down their throats, or test down their throat, or a specific set of skills that I have to lie to them about them being the most important set of skills that they’ll learn in their lives. But I can kind of get away with that because I say English is the only subject that you’ll have to use all your life because you’ll have to read and write no matter what you do,” he said. “I also think that there is a different level of respect in my classroom that I try to work hard at fostering. I want to be sure that every student knows that they have a voice and that it matters what they say. On the first day of school, I tell my students that this might be the first time that they sit in a classroom and realize that what they say and think matter.”

Regan credits his method of teaching to his past teachers.

“None of this is unique to me. I’ve try to take the best parts of every teacher that I’ve had,” Regan said.

Regan said he believes that people need to be called into teaching.

“I don’t think that you always make the decision to become a teacher or a preacher. I think that sometimes that decision is made for you,” Regan said. “I really believe that everyone in life has a mission.”

Regan’s advice on becoming an effective teacher includes limiting stress, stay open-minded, be able to monitor and adjust, and don’t teach just a subject.

“I see young teachers all the time trying to teach the heck out of a subject, and they just try to know all they can about their subject, but they forget that they are teaching human beings,” Regan said.

Lastly, Regan said to be a good teacher, actually liking students is important.

“If you don’t like young people, you shouldn’t be a teacher,” Regan said.

When he isn’t teaching, Regan is immersed in the world of baseball.

“I don’t have any hobbies. I teach, I coach baseball, I’m with my family, and I go to church,” Regan said.

Along with his wife, Crystal, of 16 years, Regan has two children, Jewell, 13, and Jackson, 11.

Regan said he tries to make every day memorable and can only recall five bad days in the fives years of teaching here.

“My worst day at Bryant is better than my best day any other place that I have taught,” Regan said.

When it comes to the relationships he builds with his students, Regan said he does it by respecting his students.

“I treat them like people. I don’t see them as students. I don’t see them as younger or less knowledgeable or inferior. I was told once by mentor, ‘That’s somebody’s baby. That’s someone’s child. They aren’t the enemy,’” Regan said. “ So as long as see them as people, then we’re at the same level. I don’t consider myself higher, more superior. I just see that I have a job to create lifelong learners.”

Even outside the classroom, Regan continues to invest in his students.

“I try and learn about them. I try to go to events, whether it’s athletics or academic. I know them from the community, and I don’t think that’s weird. I just think that’s what teachers are supposed to do,” Regan said.

A lesson Regan said he’s learned from his 17 years teaching is that some teachers see their job as “Student vs. Teacher.

“Literally, I think I’ve written up one person in the past five years at Bryant. I don’t even know where to get write ups,” Regan said. “It doesn’t mean anybody gets away with anything in my class, but I just never stepped into a room thinking it was me versus them.”

His door is always open to his students, and Regan said he never turns a student away.

“If they need something, I just let them in,” he said. “I still talk to hundreds, hundreds plural, of my students every week. Even students that have already graduated.”

When he’s in town, Regan said he always sees some of his past students. He said Jackson told him he is the most popular person in town.

“I was telling him about teaching, and I said ‘Well, you know, I might not be teach or coach for the rest of my life,’ and he is getting in middle school football and he asked me if I was going to get the chance to coach him. I said ‘I don’t know, I might retire and do something else.’ And he said,’ Why? All your students love you,’” Regan said. “But I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes me proud to know that he knows the role of a teacher and the role of a coach can have a great impact, not only on students, but on the community as a whole. It’s not just my impact. I can name hundreds of teachers that I have taught with that have the exact same or deeper impact.”

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