Mr. Carlos Montalvan, a social studies teacher at Richard Montgomery, balances teaching full time and coaching soccer for the varsity girls team. Montalvan, who double majored in psychology and history in college, teaches psychology and anthropology, bringing his own educational background into the classroom.
He began teaching in 2005. In 2006, he started teaching in Montgomery County, and began teaching at RM at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.
Not only did he double major in college, Montalvan found his love for teaching there as well. “In college, I started volunteering at a local middle school, and I found that I liked tutoring,” he said.
Although he began by tutoring middle schoolers, Montalvan’s love for teaching has led him to teach high school students. When asked about his favorite part about teaching he answered, “The interaction with students. It’s fun seeing students understanding different topics. With psychology, there are many topics that relate to their everyday life.”
Mr. Montalvan does try to stand out to his students in many ways, including in his methods of teaching. “He gives students a lot of freedom to explore concepts by encouraging group work, interactive online activities like examining mice on drugs, and expecting us to to learn from powerpoints on our own to create the atmosphere of a true college course,” said senior Isobel Coats.
“Unlike other teachers, he makes students do what actual psychologists do,” agreed junior Brooks Perks. “He likes to show videos and do demonstrations. He implements first-hand what he teaches us,” junior AC Caprara added.
In addition to being very hands-on in his teaching, Mr. Montalvan tries to personally connect with his students. “He is very chill, and he is very relatable because he is young,” said Caprara. “He is very down to earth, and he understands student humor,” added Perks.
Not only does Mr. Montalvan connect with students in the classroom, but he also connects with students as he coaches the girls varsity soccer team. For him, soccer has been a part of his life for a very long time. “I have played soccer almost my whole life. I played all of high school and three years in college.”
Mr. Montalvan has been coaching high school students for ten years now. “I have coached boys varsity for three years, and coached girls for six years for two other schools, and varsity girls one year at RM.” To Montalvan, soccer and teaching are very similar. “Coaching is like teaching. You get to know kids better,” he said.
Mr. Montalvan’s experience is not the only thing that attracts him to coaching soccer. Like many others, he enjoys winning. “I like the competition and winning. [I also like] seeing progress from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, seeing how the team has developed. It’s rewarding to see a team reach their goals,” he elaborated.
Mr. Montalvan is an extraordinary teacher who not only enjoys seeing students succeed in the classroom, but on the soccer field as well.