Meet the Physics Phamily

AP Physics teacher Joe Estevez is in his 12th year of teaching and has taught multiple science classes including physics, chemistry, environmental science, and anatomy.  

 What was your first impression of West Shore?

Estevez: West Shore is unique. West Shore has great students, great teachers, and great administrators, and it’s across the board. Usually at other schools you can see weak spots and they have places where they really need help but West Shore doesn’t have that at first glance. It doesn’t have those weaknesses, so that’s really really impressive.

Is there anything else about the culture at West Shore that is different from other schools?

Estevez: I feel like everybody looks out for each other, and that’s not the case everywhere else. Everybody here has the same end goal, and that is to be wildly successful at the next level. And since that’s the case, there might be competition from student to student but they don’t mind helping each other out, and they’re not going to beat each other up about it, and so that’s a big contrast on the culture here versus anywhere else.

What’s the difference between teaching other AP science classes and AP physics? 

Estevez: AP Physics is unique because it attracts students that are not just good at science, but that are adept at math as well. And you don’t need the same kind of math skills in like AP environmental, AP biology, or even AP chemistry as you do for AP physics, and so that is really a big divider. Sometimes the students only want to live in the mathematics world when they’re doing physics and they lose sight of explanations and stuff like that and a lot of times in the other classes they are much better at explaining and not so good at “mathing.”

What made you want to come back to Brevard to teach?

Estevez: The Krehbiels left. And so, when the Krehbiels left, that was a big deal. I’m an experienced teacher, I’ve got a good record of teaching, but I didn’t just want a job, I wanted a good job. And as soon as I saw that West Shore had an opening in physics, I knew that that was going to be the best job that I could get and so that was the big attractant for me.

Because the Krehbiels were so well-liked, how do you think that you are going to fit in as a teacher that came after them?

Estevez: So, I appreciate what the Krehbiels have done, I wouldn’t have a job if they didn’t do what they did, and so I appreciate that greatly. But, I am Mr. Estevez. I’m not anybody else, and I’m not ever going to try to be anybody else. I think that there will be some overlap and similarities but there will also be some stark contrasts, and I think that given time, I plan of developing a following just like the Krehbiels did, where kids want to push themselves to take AP physics because they want to learn physics, but they also want to enjoy physics, and do so in my class.

Physics 1 teacher Brian Klett is a West Shore class of 2010 alum and is in his first year of teaching. Mr. Klett was taught for almost 3 years by the teacher he is replacing, John Krehbiel.

What inspired you to be a teacher?

Klett: So, I had always wanted to end up teaching. And when I went into chemical engineering, I did that because I knew I was good at math, and I was good at science, so I figured that I would start off in an engineering job because it would pay really well and then I could do that for a little bit and then retire early and then go into teaching. But when I was at grad school getting towards my PhD I just realized that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to end up doing something like that, so then I realized that I could just start off doing what I wanted to do originally.

What made you want to return to your high school to teach?

Klett: Well I already knew that it was a great high school to be at, and I knew a lot of the teachers already, so going into it I knew that I would have a lot of support structure and a lot of help if I had any trouble with teaching. And also I knew that the students here at West Shore are very open and wanting to learn so that’s why I decided to come back.

Do you think that Mr. Krehbiel’s teaching methods have influenced or are going to influence your own?

Klett: Well I definitely am trying to emulate his teaching style, but since this is my first year as a teacher, it’s not natural yet. It’s going to take a few years before I get really into the absolute swing of things and feel super comfortable, but I definitely am trying to model it after Mr. Krehbiel because he did so well.

Do you feel as though you have big shoes to fill after Mr. and Mrs. Krehbiel?

Klett: I definitely feel like I have big shoes to fill. It’s like I’m stepping in clown shoes, the shoes are so big. Just because everybody obviously loved the Krehbiel’s and for the first day, knowing Mr. Krehbiel having being taught two years of physics by him, there’s definitely a lot of expectations that everyone in my class has. Everyone expected to have Mr. Krehbiel, and now it’s me, so I’m trying my best to live up to that.

What is it like being on the same staff as some of your prior teachers such as Ms. Glass? 

Klett: It’s really weird, but at the same time it’s almost comforting, just because I have that connection with her and with a lot of the other teachers as well. But, when I first came back I was still in that mindset of ‘oh it’s my old teacher’ not my colleague. So I’ve just now started to kind of feel like they’re more of my colleagues, and not just my former teachers.