He's seen 24 board presidents, 5 school principals, and even taught my dad! I’m proud to introduce one of my favorite math teachers at Timothy—Mr. Snoeyink. He’s been teaching at Timothy for 41 years and this year he is my Honors Pre-Calculus teacher!
Honors Pre-Calculus may sound daunting. But somehow Mr. Snoeyink manages to make it fun to learn. I’m not the only one who thinks so either. Ryan Horner, who is a sophomore in Honors Pre-Calculus stated, “Mr. Snoeyink is definitely one of my favorite teachers, and one of my favorite things about him is how he can take a long subject that isn’t interesting and make it fascinating. He also does a great job choosing Bible verses to read to start off our day.”
Mr. Snoeyink incorporates Christ into the classroom through interactions with the students and treating everyone as a child of God.
“I believe math also helps explain parts of creation because God made it all to work together,” Mr. Snoeyink says.
Connecting with students is one of the things that Mr. Snoeyink does best. In fact, one of his favorite things to do is to be part of the student-run tradition Octoberfest.
And to those of you who don’t know what that is, Octoberfest consists of students and teachers dressing up in crazy outfits while singing and dancing on stage. You really can't understand Timothy’s community without attending it.
“It is a way to help build our community as well as the teacher’s relationships with their students,” Mr. Snoeyink says, “because it allows the kids to see us outside of being a teacher.”
Mr. Snoeyink is part of the most popular Octoberfest duo with long-time history teacher Mr. Roelofs. For 37 years, Roelofs and Snoeyink have been performing a song and dance number which is one of the highlights of Octoberfest. From Captain Vegetable to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, they have chosen the best performance to recreate. This year they showed a performance they did in 1994 together. Wearing traditional Austrian outfits, they were dressed up as two yodeling kids from The Sound of Music. And to those who haven't been able to watch their performance, I would recommend watching OctoberBeast 2020!
As challenging as it was to nail down his Octoberfest routine over the years, Mr. Snoeyink’s biggest challenge came in March of 2020 when the Governor of Illinois instated a stay-at-home order. “I missed the interaction with the kids and being able to joke around with the students when e-learning was put into effect,” Mr. Snoeyink explains. “So, to try to make up for not being in-person, I made videos of myself teaching for my students. And overall I think the kids did great in my class as far as keeping up. With COVID closing school, I also missed the faculty because it's not every day that people get to work with their best friends and thankfully I am able to!”
Finally after a long summer break, it was time for school to start and Timothy was on track to start off our school year in person! With a mask requirement, one-way hallways, 6 feet distanced lunches, air filters, and plexiglass screens between the desks, we were ready and proved we could do it!
Mr. Snoeyink was nervous kids wouldn’t follow the rules Timothy established including wearing their masks. “I'm very happy that the students are all wearing their masks like they're supposed to,” Mr. Snoeyink says. “I think the students are happy to be back and that's why the cooperation has been so good.”
The Timothy Health Plan allows families to choose if they want to learn in-person or remotely. Every classroom is set up with an ipad and students can join via Google Meet. It’s almost like they're in the classroom with us. But Mr. Snoeyink is always concerned that every student understands his daily lesson. With some students at home e-learning and others in person, it has been a challenge making sure they understand what is being taught. “Usually I can look at a kid's face and tell whether or not they're getting it by their facial expression,” he says.
In order to help his students master what he teaches, Mr. Snoeyink even helps his students with questions they have outside of school hours.
Whether it’s before school or after school, Mr. Snoeyink always makes time to help his students on a topic they don’t understand. He cares for his students and wants them to understand what is taught.
I am thankful to have Mr. Snoeyink as my teacher. As well as all of his memorable Octoberfest performances!