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South Valley Journal

Teacher of the Year, Todd Monson, Makes Learning Fun

Dec 07, 2015 11:21AM ● By Aimee L Cook

By Aimee L. Cook

South Valley - Middle school science teacher, Todd Monson, knows his way around a classroom. He has been teaching and entertaining students for 25 years and was recently awarded Teacher of the Year by the Jordan School District. 

“As a young boy, I had a strong interest in science starting with curiosity of rocks, minerals, dinosaurs and fossils,” Monson said. “Then I asked for my first chemistry set when I was 7. In high school I enjoyed advanced science classes, later working into a BS degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management at Utah State University. While working with the Forest Service I worked in educational outreach programs regarding forest conservation and fire prevention.  This built my interest in working in the education profession.”

Students enjoy being in a class taught by Monson. He believes in making learning a fun and pleasant experience, and his students say he does that well.

“Mr. Monson makes class so much fun,” Harley Bright, eighth grader at Oquirrh Hills middle school, said. “He gets really involved with the class and in the experiments, and it has made me like science so much more.”

Monson has a knack for creating opportunities that allow his students to learn in a more hands-on way. He even found a way to make learning science vocabulary fun by turning the words into jokes. 

“We were learning matter vocabulary during one of our lessons and Mr. Monson looked at the class and said ‘What’s the MATTER with you’, it was funny,” Hannah Breinholt, 8th grader at Oquirrh Hills Middle school, said.

Monson has always enjoyed working with young people in one way or another. He takes pleasure in watching students learn something new by a demonstration or discovering how something works in science that they didn’t understand before. 

“I enjoy the discovery that the students make with science and understanding that science is indeed all around you. Science is meant to be fun,” Monson said. “In order to make science fun and interesting for students, they must be actively engaged in the process of science. To develop a sense of confidence and understanding of the aspects of science the students need to actually do the activities and discover how things work.  The most rewarding part of my job is when students enjoy my class and say that they plan to pursue an area of science for their future. When I have students return years later sharing how they have gone into some field of science having been inspired by me, my class and the activities brings me sense of accomplishment.”