Paper Napkin Interview: Mr. Park


Mr. Park posing with a Taylor Swift themed Bar Graph

The Eagle Angle is introducing the “Paper Napkin Interviews” which will be regularly posted on our website. They are essentially a Q&A that features highlighted students and staff around Allen High School, with each interviewee signing a paper napkin at the end. 


Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching?

A: “Teaching is a sad profession in the fact that once the kids move on, more or less, you’re just a happy memory to these students. And now they’re just like ‘Wow, he or she was a great teacher.’ But when they come back and still express that they remember you, I think those are the fondest memories I have of teaching.”


Q: What do you believe is the foundation of your connection with students?

A: “I really think that emotions and energy are contagious. And so I think I have a connection ‘cause they see how much passion I have in the classroom. So it raises the bar of expectation higher.”


Q: What was the moment you realized you had an impact on your students?

A: “That I formed good relationships with students that weren’t even mine or in my classes, right? And so I really do feel as if I’ve made an impact as a positive role model for students that I’ve never had. That they’ve written little cards for me, and even nominated me (For Teacher of the Year), and that I just met randomly even through testing rooms or something like that.”


Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for your students?

A: “After creating seating arrangements, I shipped students together in my head. And next thing you know, they started going out because of my class. I never originally created seating charts because of that, but the couples got together because they met and started going out. Because of my class.” 


Q: What’s your favorite memory from this school year?

A: “Well, my students came in and hung some door sign where it says I was nominated teacher of the week by other football players. And, so I got to bring Ella (Park’s 1-year-old daughter) down on the football field, meet all the football players she would never date, the cheerleaders she will never become, and the dancers that she will never be joining. [Pause] Because that’s a lot of work for me and I can’t wait outside for that. I don’t have time for that.”


Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received from your students?

A: “My students created a spam account for me. On Instagram. Do you know some parents came up to me and asked me about it? Follow that account. Can you plug my spam in your article?” [@mr.park_spamms]


Q: What’s the last thing you wrote on a paper napkin?

A: “You just made me write my signature. Oh, before that. Some math equations, because I was explaining a problem to one of my students.”