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faculty P R OF I L E

Mike McGourin

BY HEATHER LAMBIE One of the things that makes fourth grade teacher Mike McGourin a great teacher is that he is also a self-proclaimed lifelong student. “I really like learning. If I had a dream job, I would be a student for life. I’d just learn stuff all the time,” says an upbeat and cheery McGourin. As a student at the University of Florida, McGourin was a Telecommunications major. “When I went to UF what I originally wanted to do was teach through documentaries. I was really into the research and the traveling, telling the story and conveying information.” McGourin’s first job out of school was at Hillsborough Community College making educational videos for incoming distance learning students, connecting campuses through technology. From there he became a video editor at The Education Channel, a public access channel in Hillsborough, where he produced educational programming. One of his shows was called Math Hotline. “It was just two math teachers sitting

at a desk, and students would call in and get help with questions right there on live TV,” he says. “We worked with USF creating educational programming from the elementary level all the way to the senior level, even lectures for senior citizens. So my work always somehow fell into the educational field.” When McGourin and his wife Candice decided they wanted to take a bite out of the Big Apple, they moved to New York where Candice started working on a hedge fund, and McGourin for a post production house. “I did a couple movies and music videos, but the Pokemon TV show is what I mostly worked on. Lots of TV programming.” A few years later, however, McGourin and his wife moved back to St. Pete to be closer to a family member who was ill. He knew he didn’t want to do small community programming in the Bay Area again, and his background in education was still sparking his interest, so he went back to school and got a degree in Elementary Education. “My internship was in an elementary classroom, and I really enjoyed working with that age range, and decided that’s what I would pursue.” McGourin’s mother was a career teacher, and she assured

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him it would be something he’d be good at and enjoy, and she was right. Today McGourin teaches and learns, right alongside his students. “When I have to teach a new subject--like, I took over Florida history the year before--it was awesome to be able to research and get new books. Mr. Tomalin gave me so many resources. (Terry Tomalin is a Canterbury parent and Tampa Bay Times Outdoors reporter with a Masters degree in Florida studies.) I learned not only what was in the books, but I was able to to go out in the community and talk to USF professors and get more information… it’s just something I really enjoy.” He then gets to share that information with his students both in the classroom and out. As part of their Florida history unit, fourth grade students take an overnight trip to St. Augustine to see some of the monuments they’ve studied all year. “As a teacher, I would say St. Augustine is one of the best field trips I’ve taken,” says McGourin, whose fellow fourth grade teacher, Susie Ossenmacher, taught the Florida History unit before he took it on. “The first time I went to St. Augustine, Mrs. Ossenmacher was still teaching the unit, so I didn’t really connect with it. But after I taught it to the kids for a year, it was really cool to go back, and I totally

Profile for Canterbury School of Florida

CSFeatures Winter 2015  

CSFeatures is designed to give past, current and future Canterbury families and friends a snapshot of what our students, faculty, parent vol...

CSFeatures Winter 2015  

CSFeatures is designed to give past, current and future Canterbury families and friends a snapshot of what our students, faculty, parent vol...