Meet CCBS Math Teacher, Nick Linscott

by | May 15, 2024 | Learning Community, CCBS Team | 0 comments

Teaching CCBS Style |  ‘Meet the Teachers’ Series

At CCBS, we celebrate our teachers year-round! We invite you to learn more about “Teaching CCBS Style” in our blog feature where we highlight each of our teachers and their approach to making a difference in the lives of our CCBS students.

Larry Printz, Social Studies Teacher at Cherokee Creek Boys School

Next up, we invite you to meet our Math Teacher, Nick Linscott.

Our Math teacher, Nick Linscott, is one of our longest-tenured team members. He joined CCBS 20 years ago as the school was just starting up. He graduated from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio with a B.S. in Environmental Biology / Science and a B.S. Ed Degree in Secondary Education. He always wanted to be a teacher and his journey led him to Cherokee Creek! We sat down with Nick to learn more about what it means to learn math … “Nick Style!” 

You’re originally from Ohio. What led you to CCBS in South Carolina?

After working as a teacher in Ohio, I felt like I needed a change. I moved to South Carolina to work at the Nantahala Outdoor Center as a raft / canoe guide in the summer and I was a substitute teacher in the winter for 13 years. I enjoyed nature and the change of scenery, and I met my wife Karen while I worked there.

In 2005 I heard about Cherokee Creek – a school for students who didn’t necessarily fit into the regular education system. I was excited about that because I felt like I was a teacher who didn’t fit into the regular education system either. I asked if they needed a teacher, but back then, they only had seven students and one teacher, so I took a job on the second shift. I got great experience and as CCBS grew, eventually I taught math and science and as we hired another teacher I was able to just teach math. 

Tell us about your approach to teaching math at CCBS …

Many students don’t like math and it’s not unusual for a student to arrive feeling beaten down or even in despair from their experience with school and math in particular.

At CCBS, we treat each boy as an individual. In my classroom, I call it “the rolling chair approach.” I sit in my chair and literally roll around helping each boy one at a time giving them the individual adjustments and attention that they need.

Many adolescent boys are competitive, and often the challenging students are the ones who have given up because they don’t think they can compete against others. I teach them the only competition should be within themselves – to keep their own progress moving forward.

Sometimes we take math out of the classroom and encourage the boys to participate in academic activities, such as LEGO LEAGUE, a hands-on, international robotics competition where student teams build a robot with a microprocessor to accomplish a goal. It combines technology and art and students love it.

And we focus on building a connection with each boy and meeting him where he is. A connection with a student can mean a lot and make a big difference in their progress.

What is unique about your approach?

I bring my sense of humor to the classroom. Often boys say, ” You’re not a real math teacher – you’re too funny or too nice.” That’s a great compliment because they often have a negative image about math. I try to break that mold by helping them feel comfortable and enjoy math class

What makes CCBS different … or special?

CCBS is dedicated to achieving its Mission … “Helping boys discover what is real and true about themselves and the world around them.” For nearly 20 years, I have seen the school live the mission every day. 

What do you enjoy most about working at CCBS?

I love watching the student’s journey from arrival to graduation. Sometimes a new student may need to be disempowered of wrongful behaviors, and they may not like me at the beginning. As hard as that is, it’s rewarding when they realize and appreciate they needed to learn some tough lessons. Many times I have had a boy who was angry at me at the beginning ask me to speak at his graduation. That means a lot to me!

And what brings me the most joy is knowing that I have had some kind of positive impact on every boy who has stepped into my classroom.

Thanks, Nick, for making a difference in boy’s lives at Cherokee Creek!