Warriors You Should Know – Terry Wister

This week’s Warrior You Should Know is Terry Wister. Terry was one of the first teachers that I had an opportunity to work with through assisting his classes with technology usage. Terry is always eager to find new ways that technology can assist his English Language Learner (ELL) students and I always enjoy talking with him when he stops by my office. If you don’t already know Terry, make it a point to find him and say hello.


What do you teach?
I teach a few things;  Spanish for Spanish Speakers levels 1 & 2, Social Studies for ELL students – ELL World Geography, ELL U.S. History, ELL U.S. government.  I also co-teach a few classes: ELL Health, ELL Essential Technology, & ELL Consumer Economics

How many years of experience in education do you have? How many have you taught here at WV?
I am finishing my 21st year of teaching (I think) and have now taught 10 years at WVHS

Where did you go to high school?
Oak Forest High School

Where did you go to college?
University of Illinois (undergrad.) & Columbia College Chicago (masters)

Where do you get inspiration from?
My parents and my family

What is your favorite Warrior Memory?
The friendships I’ve formed with my fellow ELL teachers

Is there a student that you will never forget?
Tell us why they were so memorable. There are definitely more than one, but “Yes”, there have been students who have come to the U.S. with little or no English, and sometimes without their parents, who have gone on to be amazing students and people that I will remember. Also, the students who are really nice yet at the same time very hard working. In some cases, we sometimes work with students for all 4 of their years in High School in the ELL program, so these are also the types of students that we don’t tend to forget easily.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Maybe when I was once telling a class about the negative use of the “R” word and telling them a story about my older brother who passed away when he was very young, then getting sad and emotional about why I hate the use of the R word. I had started to cry, but was trying to explain how the “R” word can be potentially offensive to others who you might not expect because you don’t always know who you’re talking to.

Favorite book? 
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (at least one of my favorites)

Favorite Song/Artist? 
Los Lobos is one of my all-time favorite musical artists

Favorite Food?
Mexican food, popcorn, pancakes

Favorite childhood teacher and why?
Maybe both Mr. and Mrs. Lindbloom from High school, and two teachers who were husband and wife at my high school. Mrs. Lindbloom taught English and just knew how to connect to kids. Mr. Lindbloom taught physics and had a lot of funny stories.

When not at school, where do you like to spend your time or what do you like to do? Do you have any special talents?
Almost all of my time spent away from WVHS is with my family. I like to walk and hike with my dog. I play ice hockey and also like to swim and work out when I can. I also enjoy biking, rollerblading (really any type of skating), movies, plays, and definitely live music! I am a huge music fan! I used to play the drums and saxophone when I was younger, and I would like to again someday as just a hobby. I used to be an avid concert goer and I try to go to concerts when ever I can.

What are your future goals?
To continue working at WVHS for about another 14 years or so. Then retire from teaching and try something else, possibly working with court translation, immigration services – something that will allow me to continue to use my Spanish and work with people who are in need.

Who do you live with? Spouse, kids, pets, etc.
I live with my wife, our children Natalia (9 yrs.), Eli (7 yrs.) and our dog Noche (2 yrs.)

If your department had to vote you, “most likely to…”, what would they vote you?
I’m not too sure.  Maybe “most likely to spend too much time wondering what to wear the next day”, or “most likely to sleep in a lot after retirement” since I get up really early during the school year due to my long commute.

Now you know more about Terry and hopefully you learned something new about him. Be sure to say hola, the next time you see him in the building!

On a final note, this is the last Warriors You Should Know post for the 2017-18 school year. I know that many of you will miss seeing a new post each week, but be assured that we will start up again in the fall with 2018-19 year. Many of you have emailed me about how appreciative you are for the Warriors You Should Know posts and have even provided me with short anecdotes about how it has connected you with others throughout the building. Thank you for sharing these with me. I love to receive them and it helps us connect as a community. In fact last week I heard that there were a couple of great games of Ping Pong played between two staff members as a result of one of the posts. (I won’t say who won.) One of the players emailed me afterwards and suggested that we get a staff Ping Pong tournament going. Look for that to happen next school year and practice up your Ping Pong skills over the summer. Since this is the last post before summer, I hope that you all have a great few months off, but also hope that you will still keep in touch and even plan some fun activities with your WVHS colleagues. See you all in the fall! Go Warriors!

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