Welcome to PCIA’s Teacher Feature blog series! Each month, we’re getting to know one of our teachers a little bit better, both professionally and personally.
Teacher: Mr. Jim Harrison
Subject: History/American Government
Lives in: Portland, Ore.
What would the students be surprised to find out about you?
How deeply I care for them, worry about them, and always want the very best for them.
What accomplishment fills you with pride so far this year?
Little things… A brilliant observation by a student – and knowing that it came – at least in part – from their time at PCIA. That we helped that jewel to be discovered and polished.
How does technology make teaching more simple or difficult?
“Simple” because we’re no longer (by and large) ‘hostage’ to the Gorge weather. “Difficult” because remote teaching can be a real challenge and will be until we’re all able to be three dimensional holograms sitting around sipping holographic coffee!
Who is your biggest inspiration?
There are many! But, I have to give that award to Plato & Socrates – it’s a tie!
What does true leadership mean to you?
Generally, having a soft heart and leading by example, yet being able to take a strong hand when needed. I try to keep in mind my students are facing tests and trials I would certainly find difficult were I their age (and often times – even my age).
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
That’s simple – they happen nearly every day – when I confront something that calls for me to “do the right thing.” I stress to my students: always, ALWAYS challenge ideologies, creeds, credos, beliefs. Just like Plato – seek out the Truth first and foremost, and be honest in all regards. Well, it turned out I had mistakenly given my students an inaccurate tidbit of “wisdom” from my youth one day. I went home that night and it began to bug me… “Did I mis-remember that thing?” Turned out, I was in error. The next day I told this to my class, confessing my error. I told my students to never be afraid to call me out on something that might seem even a little suspect – and that we can check it out together!
Check back soon for a new PCIA Teacher Feature! And, as always, you can see a list of our current staff here.