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New Face: Justin Maxwell

“A good teacher is present and able to have constructive conversations with students,” Justin Maxwell states. At Kaiser High School, Maxwell teaches AP biology and marine science, but he is most excited to be teaching AP biology. Maxwell attended  the University of Arkansas and has a background in chemistry, specifically biochemistry, which is why he had a strong interest in teaching biology.  Earlier in his career, he taught at South Grand Prairie High School in Texas. When his wife’s job led them to Hawaii, Maxwell got an offer right after and he now teaches 11-12th graders. 

Teaching can be executed in a variety of different ways. Maxwell uses his influence over his students in a way to encourage them, and over his years of being a teacher, he’s gained important knowledge about how to perfect teaching. “I’ve learned that a big, mean person telling someone that they’re capable of doing something actually goes a long way,” says Maxwell. He describes it as a positive feedback cycle, where believing in them is the most important step. He explained it by describing how “you tell a kid that they can do more than they think they can, and then they do it.”

Although he originally moved to Hawaii for his wife, one of his favorite hobbies has been snorkeling ever since. “Since living on an island, the thing I like to do most is snorkel,” Maxwell said. His favorite beaches are Shark’s Cove and Electric Beach. However,  with kids as his main hobby, his time is strictly limited, and he often doesn’t have time to snorkel. Nevertheless, he is glad to be a teacher, helping students learn, and giving them confidence is especially why Maxwell teaches. 

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