by Erica Van Soelen
Industrial arts teacher Paul Monsma will be switching to part-time next year after 20 years of full-time service to Pella Christian. For the 2018-19 school year, Monsma plans to teach a few classes in the morning and the rest of his classes will be taken over by the new vocational agriculture teacher.
The best part about teaching, according to Monsma, is reconnecting with past students. “I enjoy hearing from former students who had learned valuable skills or information in my classes that they are benefiting from in college or work,” he said. Monsma also loves to see how kids improve throughout the year. “It is a joy to see the sense of accomplishment a student has when they take home their finished project,” said Monsma.
With his new free time, he will be able to pursue other interests. “Mr. Engbers and I have built 3 houses together,” said Monsma. They begin the work in the spring and summer and then Monsma finishes them in the fall and winter. Being able to work in the afternoon will free up his evenings and weekends so he and his wife, Deb, will be able to spend more time with their grandchildren.
Many students will miss him, but they understand his desire to have more time away from school. “It’s kind of sad to see Mr. Monsma going to part time next year. Many of us have had tons of classes with him, and I think all of our days will be a little less enjoyable without him. Either way, I can’t argue with wanting to have more freedom,” said junior Ben Vos.