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Matthew McMillan

Job Title:





Phone: (510) 577-9100



Started at O'Dowd:



B.S. in Psychology Whitman College & M.S. ED in School Counseling Brooklyn College

Originally from:

Austin, TX

Why I Teach:

As a self-proclaimed nerd, I love being curious and learning new things. The qualities that have carried me the further in life are persistence in all things, developing self-awareness around what I know and what I don't, and finding the courage to ask for help when I need it. Human being are inherently social creatures that learn from being around others who think, see, and do things differently than we do. You have to know how to ask for help to get anywhere in this life!

My love of learning, strongest qualities, and core beliefs were all molded by educators. Whether they were teachers, counselors, or coaches, educators made a huge impact on my life and I don't take that for granted. I want to try to be the kind of mentors for my students that I was lucky enough to have when I was in school.

I want to help motivate students to be persistent, to take risks that help them develop greater self-awareness, and expose students to a variety of different options and experiences.

Most powerful teaching technique:

Without giving away how to do something, asking a student how they might solve a problem from this point on. Let the students do the heavy cognitive lifting.

I'm a big believer in letting the student do the bulk of the work. I exist to be a support net, a motivational speaker, a tutor, and a guide. The student should be the leader, the foreman, the chief navigator of the learning.

The more students take the lead in their education, the more prepared they're going to be for the world that awaits them after high school.

Why are the subjects you teach important?:

"Counseling" is the subject that teaches students all the skills, tricks, and mindsets that are going to lead to help make them successful during school and after their educational years are complete.

Counseling helps students develop self-awareness, a greater understanding of their inner motivations, and helps students link their core beliefs to the process of learning. Equipping students to help understand who they are, what they want, where they want to go, and how to get there is the true essence of counseling.

This type of learning is the hard stuff... There's no text book for reflecting on your emotions, how you think, and how your learn. Counselors are there to help you in this journey of self-reflection. Learning how to take risks, try new things, be vulnerable, fail, try again, and appreciate yourself through this process is what I'm most looking for my students to learn while at Bishop O'Dowd."

Favorite quotes:

"It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll; I am the master of my fate, I am the keeper of my soul" - William Ernest Henley

"My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent." -Ruth Bader Ginsberg

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” -Shel Silverstein

"I Won't Run Away Anymore...I Won't Go Back On My Word...That Is My Ninja Way!" -Naruto from the popular Anime"

Favorite trivia:

80's & 90's cartoons deep cuts, NFL football, Anime, Video Games, Musicals, Choir music, and philosophy around nature.

Recommended visual media:

Friday Night Lights, Naruto, Gilmore Girls

Recommended reads:

Where the sidewalk ends, A light in the Attic, and The Giving Tree -Shel Silverstein

Sci-Fi and YA Series (ask me for recommendations)

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

Hobbies or outside interests:

All sports, in particular NFL Football and Rugby, Karaoke, Broadway Musicals, Choir, Hiking, Slow-Smoke BBQ, Spending time with friends and family.

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