As Michael Hanson walks into the photography lab filled with iMacs, he sits down at his usual desk located at the center of the room. His tall figure defines him as a football player in a photography lab. As we start talking, I learn that one of his favorite quotes is, “Discipline equals freedom,” from a writer he follows. Hanson explained that the more disciplined you are, the more you're able to stay on schedule. As a photography teacher and a football coach at North Quincy High School, the most challenging part of his career is time management.
There never seems to be enough time for him to introduce different assignments to students therefore, he has to modify lesson plans. With the lesson plans, grading, staging shows, and student’s artwork events, Hanson said he “wished there [were] more hours in the day.”
To ensure he has more time, Hanson follows an efficient daily schedule. He usually prepares for the day the night before. Having a busy morning, he wakes up early and brings his three children to school before going to work. His afterschool schedule varies at different times of the school year. For instance, in the fall he’s the position coach of varsity football and offensive coordinator for the JV’s.
Despite the busy schedule, he still has priorities. “My main goal is to help each student become a stronger, more creative communicator,” said Hanson. With the understanding that not every one of his students is going into the arts, the classes he teaches can provide useful life skills that can apply to any career path. Students can communicate their personal and unique ideas using the art he teaches, and he believes that any art is the artist trying to convey an idea to the audiences. The arts also encourage a person’s creativity. Hanson believes his students should explore topics they are personally interested in. “The best way to ensure success and creativity is to chase what you’re really into,” he said.
What inspires Hanson is many of his great teachers and coaches. They shaped the course of Hanson’s life and provided redirection when he needed it. Hanson believes being a teacher simply means being a positive presence in other people’s lives. “It really is the great occupation I can think of,” Hanson said.