For a dozen years Robert Swinney has helped students understand social studies at Auburn Junior High. They say he makes learning hard material easy. "He just makes you comfortable to be around him. When he's talking to you he can relate to some of the stuff we have in common with him. It's fun," says 8th grader Kelly Cochran.
Classmate Jasani Bromfield adds, "he's also a great guy. I like his class; at the same time he teaches us what we need to know."
Along with teaching students about civilizations from several thousand years ago, Swinney has started a program to get them to look to the future. Kids visit local businesses to begin thinking about careers. Principal Jason Wright says, "introducing this career inter-disciplinary unit, I think is very important. It shows them the many different things that are out there, the different curriculums that they can get involved with at the high school and start planning for their future."
To keep his class focused on the future and the present, Swinney follows some basic steps. "First you have to motivate the child, then you have to empower the child and then you have to understand that you have to make it interesting, so that you can gain their attention; and if you do that then I think our job is a lot more easier," he says.
Swinney is also the assistant coach for 8th grade football and 9th grade basketball coach at Auburn High School.