Teaching history to high schoolers can be difficult. But Acadiana High teacher Zach Welch does what he can to pass on his love of the subject by making the past interesting to a younger generation.
A 2020 Finalist for the LEF Teacher awards, Welch says the nomination couldn't have come at a better time.
"I needed it. It's nice to be valued," he says. "Sometimes teachers aren't valued when they need to be."
Zack, like so many others, is from a long line of educators. He says there was no doubt that teaching would be his chosen profession.
"Teaching is in my blood. I do it for the love of the subject," he says. "I love American History."
It's a love that Zack hopes to pass on to each and every student that passes through his classroom.
"The best part is them going home and telling their parents what they learned in my class or telling their friends what they learned," he says. "That's the best compliment that I can get."
So how does he keep his students engaged and interested in a subject that, at seven in the morning, could put them to sleep?
Welch says he's all about utilizing unconventional teaching techniques.
"I'm going to stand on a desk and yell. It's American History and some of these kids don't like it," he says. "I like to tell jokes to the kids and play music for them to adapt and survive."
Zack says one thing this job has taught him is that he's not just teaching American history. He's helping each one of his students become a productive member of society.
The Lafayette Education Foundation Teacher Awards ceremony takes place next Wednesday, January 29 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.
The cost to attend is five dollars for students and teachers and ten for all other guests.
Tickets can be purchased at the Heymann Center box office or through Ticketmaster.