Spotlight: Mr. Travis


English Language Arts teacher, Samuel Travis, standing in front of the mural by the English Language Arts hallway at Durango High School.

Ed Lerma, Staff Writer

Durango High School is filled with magnificent teachers that are sure to make your learning a joyous experience, but there is one teacher that deserves a shout out, as he has recently been shining above and beyond from all the rest. Samuel Travis, an English Language Arts teacher that teaches both freshman and juniors, has been working incredibly hard to have all his students turn in their work for his class. He’s lenient with his students when they make a mistake and instead of bombarding them for their mistake he immediately jumps in to help and correct the mistake. Travis is a remarkable teacher and it is such an honor to be able to be a student of his.

Travis is a phenomenal teacher, he makes sure his class is fun and gives kids the best experience. The reason why he teaches this way is made clear when he states, “I also had a lot of teachers… Who I just found dull, boring, not engaging. Not fun to be in the room with and I always told myself y’know I can do better than those teachers, I can be in the room and try to make it to where it’s hopefully where kids want to be.’ ” 

Travis dives into how he wants his students to not just know about something just because they have to, but he also wants them to genuinely enjoy learning about something. Currently, freshmen are reading a play called Antigone by Sophocles which addresses themes of civil disobedience, morality, loyalty, and authority. Travis loves teaching the argumentative side of things. He enjoys reading the play, Antigone, because it’s not just about the play, it’s about everything you can pull into it. Travis’s personal favorite aspect of the argumentative side of things is, “…Not just [teaching] the book but [teaching] about how it can try to connect to the real world and wherever you can go with that.” Travis relishes in the real world side of things that make sense to him and gives him an opportunity to make English relevant to his students.

To top everything off, Travis’s goals in teaching are goals that teachers should aspire to have because they’re extraordinary and something you don’t hear from teachers very often. Travis aims for the students that attend his class is to become better writers, speakers, thinkers and readers but primarily the thinking aspect, “I want students to be able to feel like they can think about things freely… to be able to express their thinking in ways that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to articulate.” But with that he adds on, “I want their English experience to be as enjoyable as possible because I know that in many schools, maybe even in this school with some classes, the kids don’t enjoy the class, and because of that they don’t learn, because of that they don’t want to try, and so if I can try to make it an enjoyable experience I think that kids will be more engaged and enjoy their time with me.”

Again, it is such an honor to be in Travis’s class and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone to be able to see how splendid of a teacher he is, as well as how he makes learning such a marvelous experience. All in general, Travis is a wonderful teacher to be around, his positive aura is honestly just a good reason to show up to school and go to his class knowing that his lessons will never disappoint and will keep you on your toes.

“That’s the biggest piece, to have fun. If I’m not having fun then I don’t know why I do this job.”

  • Mr. Travis