Molly is a junior in her second year in journalism. She manages the varsity football team on the side and enjoys cooking and baking.
Keeping Up the Pace
October 6, 2021
How many different jobs do you have? Try being a teacher, senior sponsor, graduation organizer, parent, and coach to several teams, all at the same time. One FCHS teacher who is juggling all of these tasks daily is History teacher Mitchell Pace.
Pace has a degree in education and certification in history and social studies. He attended the University of Virginia after graduating from FCHS. “AP Government and US History are my favorite subjects to teach. My most stressful job during the school year is planning and organizing graduation,” said Pace.
This semester, Pace is teaching AP Government, Teacher Cadet, and Hands-on History, which is a newer subject which he started last year. Since it focuses on hands-on learning and field trips, teaching it mostly virtually was quite a challenge last year.
“Hands-on History is an elective, designed for the true lovers of history who are willing to do research and learn from expert historians,” he said.
Overall, Pace said, “It’s good to have the students back in person, easier to teach, and better to build a relationship with students,” he said. He added that the most challenging thing about being a teacher is “teaching kids that don’t want to be taught. They have no self-motivation,” Pace said.
One of Pace’s long-term subjects is Teacher Cadet, a class available to juniors and seniors where you learn the fundamentals of being a teacher. It also provides students with the opportunity to do an internship with a teacher and help them teach a class. “Lots of cadets have come through Fluvanna, [perhaps] 12 to 15, since I have been teaching it,” he said.
Pace has been teaching for 15 years and has only ever taught at Fluvanna. A fair amount of his time while not at school is tied to coaching students. In the past, he has coached tennis and track and field. This year he is coaching football, and swim and dive.
Many students are surprised to learn that Pace was originally in an astronaut program, but stopped to join the professional bull riding tour before switching to teaching. These days, Pace says, “When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, hiking, and playing golf.”