Zan Tyler Podcast
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Meet the Video Course Teachers

Mrs. Evanna Walker

My Courses: Phonics & English, Reading, and Handwriting 1; Math 2; Spelling 2; Heritage Studies 4; Reading 2, 3, and 6.

My Background: I have more than fifteen years of teaching experience in multiple classroom levels, and I’ve been teaching for BJU Press for twenty years. In those years, I have taught and filmed almost two thousand video lessons.

My Teaching Style: I speak directly to my students in all of my lessons, engaging them in a memorable conversation. I use a “hook” to connect new information to things they’ve already studied, then I give them a concise “nugget” that they can easily take with them after the lesson, and I always end with something fun.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: There are a bunch of exciting topics in every course I teach. I love teaching phonics skills, and the spy theme that runs throughout Reading 5 is so much fun!

My Goal: All of my students should yearn to read and know God’s Word and see His hand working in all areas of study.

Fun Fact: I grew up on a fruit farm—which explains a lot.

Mrs. Sarah Lawson

My Courses: K4 Foundations, Focus on Fives Reading, Heritage Studies and Math 1, Handwriting 2, Spelling 4, and Bible Truths 2 and 6.

My Background: I have five years of teaching experience in the classroom and have taught for over twenty years.

My Favorite Classroom Prop: I love using the phone in K5 to enhance my lessons, and it’s always great when the puppets visit, especially Hopscotch and Captain Kleever.

My Goal: I want my students to come through my classes wiser and more capable of succeeding in whatever they do.

Mrs. Joanna Brennan

My Courses: Math 4 and Math 5.

My Background: I taught for 21 years in a classroom setting. I have taught everything from K4 to grade 5.

My Teaching Style: I would describe my teaching style as organized. I love a schedule and a system for everything.

My Favorite Classroom Prop: Fraction circles. It’s important to help the students visualize fractions in order to understand them.

My Goal: My goal is always to make what I’m teaching seem easy. I like the students to be thinking, “I can do that!”

Fun Fact: I once ate a dinner of crocodile, ostrich, wildebeest, and water buffalo.

Mr. Bill Harmon

My Courses: Science 6, Fundamentals of Math, Pre-Algebra, Physical Science, Algebra 1, Chemistry, Physics, and Consumer Math.

My Background: I hold a MEd in Secondary Education and have taught a variety of classes for over thirty years, including science, math, and computer science, in addition to working as a chemist.

My Teaching Style: Learning math and science can be stressful enough, so I keep my teaching as clear, simple, and casual as I can. Each lesson is a two way conversation between me and my student as I anticipate the questions they will have about the material and then give them the answer.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: Nanotechnology may seem really hard, but it’s actually a lot of fun!

My Favorite Classroom Prop: I love demonstrating with the mole box.

My Goal: I look forward to seeing each student become more and more Christ-like. Each student who passes through my classes should know how to think and reason through processes.

Mrs. Cynthia Bullock

My Courses: Heritage Studies 6, American Republic, Cultural Geography, American Government, and Economics.

My Background: I have thirteen years of classroom teaching experience.

My Teaching Style: Each lesson is a story that takes students through the next phase of history, always guiding them to find the answer to one of the most complicated questions in human history: why?

My Favorite Topic to Teach: While I have a passion for all of history, I particularly enjoy teaching the period from the Founding of America to the Civil War.

My Goal: My students should see the need to learn history so that they won’t repeat the mistakes of the past.

Mrs. Beth Cofer

My Courses: English 7, 8, and 11.

My Background: I taught 11th grade for 4 years at a private Christian school. I then homeschooled my two oldest children for 12 years. I started teaching for BJU Press in 2019.

My Teaching Style: When it comes to literature, I like to get to the heart of whatever we’re reading, to really dig into the message rather than just the details of the story. In grammar, I like to focus on the essential elements first, like finding your subject and verb first to help you understand a complicated sentence.

My Goal: My students should learn to think critically about the world around them and to evaluate every message they receive in light of God’s truth.

Fun Fact: I was a radio news reporter before I started teaching English.

Mr. Tim Snow

My Courses: Writing and Grammar 10, Elements of Literature, and English 6 with Mrs. Overly.

My Background: I hold a BA in History and an MS in Secondary Education and have served for twenty years as a Christian school teacher and principal. I use a carefully measured pace to ensure my students stay with me and have a strong foundation for learning.

My Teaching Style: I use a carefully measured pace to ensure my students stay with me and have a strong foundation for learning.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: I love teaching poetry, and I also love teaching my students to develop their plots and characters for short stories.

My Favorite Classroom Prop: In 10th Grade, I keep a pile of fake books with funny names on my desk.

My Goal: My students should be able to use grammar to be effective writers and communicators, and they should learn to love all kinds of literature.

Fun Fact: I own two cats named Zeus and Apollo.

Mr. Robert Spurgeon

My Courses: Bible 7 (The Story of the Old Testament) and Bible 8 (The Life of Christ).

My Background: I have taught the Bible in various ministry roles over the past 35 years. I hold a BA in Bible/Youth Ministry and an MA in Biblical Studies.

My Teaching Style: Teaching the Bible is more than just teaching facts, so I strive to engage the students with a blend of question and answers, hands-on Bible study activities, and devotional challenges.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: I love teaching through the book of James.

My Goal: I have two goals for my students. First, I want each of them to know Christ as personal Savior and grow in their Christian lives. Second, I want each student to learn how to study the Bible for themselves.

My Hobbies: I like to collect old things … books, especially. I enjoy reading, playing pickleball, telling dad jokes, and spending time with my family.

Mrs. Debbie Overly

My Courses: Science 1, 2, 3, and 4; English 4 and 6; Handwriting 4 and 5; and Math 3.

My Background: For over 30 years I have been involved in Christian education. I have taught in the classroom, written elementary level curriculum, and for the past 20 years have been a video course teacher at BJU Press.

My Teaching Style: I use hands on activities, many demonstrations, and ask lots of questions. I want students to be actively engaged during each lesson.

My Goal: I believe that educating students with joy, academic rigor, and a biblical worldview is not only possible, but now more important than ever.

Dr. Michelle Jarrell

My Courses: Spelling 3 and 5 and English 2.

My Background:I hold an EdD in Education and have fifteen years of teaching experience in a variety of classroom settings.

My Teaching Style: Using fun and creative organizing strategies, I bring my students to the place where they understand, remember, and can apply the concepts we cover in each lesson.

My Favorite Classroom Prop: I definitely favor my thinking cat.

My Goal: I hope to bring each child to a place where he doesn’t have to struggle and where he finds interest in the material.

Fun Fact: I've visited 13 of the 14 Presidential Libraries.

Mrs. Aída Kuhlewind

My Courses: Handwriting 6 and Spanish 2 and 3.

My Background: I have 10 years of classroom experience teaching middle school, high school, and college. I grew up in Venezuela where my parents are missionaries. I have a BS in Elementary Education and Bible and a MS in Biblical Counseling and have almost completed course work for a MS in Education.

My Teaching Style: Learning a foreign language and learning to write can be frustrating, so I let them take their time to master the material. Learning is a lot more enjoyable when it’s casual and pressure-free.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: While a lot of people find the Spanish subjunctive confusing, I love teaching it. I also enjoy teaching Spanish literature.

My Goal: My students should learn to communicate clearly and effectively both in the written word and in Spanish.

Fun Fact: I was born in Guatemala, grew up in Venezuela, and went to college in Puerto Rico.

Mrs. Sarah Gillenwater

My Courses: Life Science and Earth Science.

My Background: I hold a BS in Elementary Education and have seven years of teaching experience in the Christian school classroom.

My Teaching Style: My lessons overflow with personality. It’s hard for my students to avoid getting caught up in my enthusiasm for my subject.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: I love teaching about the animal kingdom, space, and plate tectonics.

My Favorite Classroom Prop: I would accomplish very little in a lesson without my coffee mug.

My Goal: My students should come through my class with a strong understanding, not only of science, but also of how science reinforces biblical Creation. My students will also learn how to serve others with science.

Mr. Ken Matesevac

My Courses: Math 6, Geometry, and Precalculus.

My Background: I hold a BS in Mathematics Education and a MS in Educational Leadership, and I have taught and tutored students in various levels of math.

My Teaching Style: Precision is key in teaching and learning math, so I’m always as exact and precise as possible when I teach. It’s better to take your time in learning than to create misunderstandings by hurrying.

My Favorite Topic to Teach: It may seem hard, but I love teaching trigonometry.

My Favorite Classroom Prop: I love having my daughter on set with me.

My Goal: The students that experience my courses should come through each course knowing and understanding math, not just in the short term, but how it shapes God’s creation and how we can use it in our everyday lives.


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