Ms. Heino and Mr. O’Connor on Knowledge Bowl
By Kaya Diebes & Abby Beddow
How long have you been teaching?
Ms. Heino: “This is my 18th year.”
Mr. O'Connor: “This is my 13th year, but I took a one year break.”
What classes do you teach?
Ms. Heino: “AP World History and Sociology”
Mr. O'Connor: “United States History, Human Geography, and Government and Citizenship”
What do you think is the best thing about being a teacher?
Mr. O'Connor: “Hanging out with kids, being able to see them grow over the years, which is why I teach multiple ages because I get to see them as freshmen [...] as juniors, and as seniors. And the creativity, we get a lot of room for creativity. Everyday is different; there’s never really a dull moment.”
Ms. Heino: ”I would say the same thing about teaching. It’s the relationships with kids. I really like it when, I especially, get somebody to think about something in a way that they never had before, and trying to expand their thought process and world view, I really enjoy that. And I also absolutely love my subject matter, I’m a big Social Studies nerd.”
How many students are in Knowledge Bowl?
Ms. Heino: “There are 45 this year.”
When does Knowledge Bowl meet?
Mr. O'Connor: “We start right after MEA, and we go until the very beginning of March. We currently meet twice a week. We meet after school on Wednesdays and before school on Fridays, so that we are pretty open to when people can show up. We also have a series of meets, some of them are invitational and some of them would count towards our state tournament.”
How do students get into Knowledge Bowl?
Mr. O'Connor: “It’s just like any other activity […] there's no prerequisites, it’s not like we say ‘you’re not good at math you can't be in it’, it’s come one come all.”
What are the competitions like?
Mr. O'Connor: “There’s what we call a written round […] and depending on how they score, they go into all these rooms that are numbered, every room has three teams, and every round after that is an oral round, where they read questions out loud for teams to answer with buzzers. And if you do really well sometimes you’ll move up rooms, and if you don’t do very well you’ll move down rooms.”
Any notes you’d like to add?
Ms. Heino: “Knowledge Bowl is a really great activity, one of the things that I love about it the most is that we have kids from 9th to 12th grade and, literally, from every social group, every area of interest, and it's just a really great place where I think the students of Knowledge Bowl have found a home with people that they wouldn’t necessarily normally hang out with, but they’ve come to really enjoy each other's company.”
Mr. Ripken: “Did you run out of stories already that you had to go to them? You can quote me on that, Ripken R-I-P-K-E-N.”