#MNPSVoices: Kyle Bohle, Science Teacher
Most people would consider themselves lucky if they discover one career they really love. In the case of Kyle Bohle, a 7th grade science teacher at West End Middle School, he somehow doubled his luck.
Bohle became a Metro Nashville Public Schools teacher seven years ago after completing a fellowship program that certified him to teach all subjects. He chose to focus on math and science because he said, “it’s fact-oriented.”
“I like teaching a lot of fact-oriented things at the middle school level; mathematics in particular,” Bohle said. “Especially to kids who aren’t that confident and may have had some failures and struggles in the past in the subject. I like to break it down where everyone can approach it and feel some level of success.”
A dedicated school teacher by day, Bohle turns into a premier dee jay on the weekends and has earned ‘residency’ status at The BoomBap, a 10-year hip-hop party in Nashville. In the classroom, the self-taught mixing wonder applies foundational principles which helps his students better relate to basic math and science concepts. He uses this same approach as a dee jay to lure people to the dance floor – he describes it as “the hip-hop approach.”
“Regardless, of the genre you have to be in-tune with the crowd – and that’s what I’m best at,” he said. “If the crowd is not responding to you, you have to know how to switch it up, when to play things longer, when to cut things short, when to drop it out and when to let the crowd sing.”
The technique has also proven effective when engaging his students as he combines learning with having a good time. Just like playing at a party.
“You should always be reflecting constantly as you are teaching and [asking yourself] are they picking this up?,” he said, “If you are able to respond to the needs of your students quickly in the moment during a lesson. This absolutely parallels to instruction and classroom management.”
Bohle gets to read confirmation from his students during Teacher Appreciation Week. The resounding theme in letters from his students is “we learned a lot and had fun doing it,” he said. “These letters are my proudest moments during the year.”
While Bohle’s current students are too young to attend the parties he dee jays, he plans to continue merging his love for music and teaching to help them excel in the classroom. As for the adult partygoers who shout-out, “educator educate,” when he plays the most popular jams, he knows eventually that crowd will change and might and possibly include the first students he taught during the early part of his career. Only this time, he’ll be teaching a different kind of math originating from the sounds that boom off the ones and twos.