Patch caught up with technology education teacher Nick Helbling in May.
Patch stopped the Essex resident to ask .
Glen Burnie Patch: How long have you been in education?
Nick Helbling: This is my first year [2011-2012].
Patch: How did you decide to go into education?
Helbling: I had a teacher my senior year of high school, he said to me, "What are you going to do when you get out of high school?" I said, "I don't really know." I was thinking about the Marines, I was thinking about possibly being a welder. I didn't really know. And he said, "Why don't you think about being a technology education teacher?" That's what class I had him for. And I was like, "Really? I can do that?" I didn't even realize it was a possibility. So I started thinking about it, and he actually got me all the materials to apply. He got me a folder for my college—where he went—and I applied and got in. And I've loved it ever since.
Patch: What made you decide to teach at the high school level?
Helbling: I really like high school because these students are really, really advanced. I get to see students who, I'm sure you've seen on the news, Jack Andraka. Finding ways to detect cancer. You just don't get that kind of stuff in middle school. Plus you get to use tools that are a little more advanced that a middle-schooler couldn't use. So, it's fun. Middle school is fun, too. I really like the personalities of the kids but high school is great because it's really advanced. And it's kind of cool to see how they shape over the course of the year. I'm excited to see how they shape over the course of four years, but I haven't seen that yet.
Patch: Where did you go to high school? College? What degree do you hold?
Helbling: Hampton High School, right outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I went to California University of Pennsylvania [and graduated with a degree in] technology education.
Patch: What do you do in your free time?
Helbling: I'm an outdoorsman so I like fishing and hunting and boating a little bit—but I don't have a boat. Camping, hiking, backpacking, archery. Anything outside.