Teacher Spotlight: Ian Swift

26/07/20233 minute read
Teacher Spotlight: Ian Swift

Meet, CGA Teacher Ian Swift. Ian grew up on Long Island (just outside New York City) playing kick the can and stick ball - just look up any cliché Brooklyn movie.

After attending college (university) at SUNY Geneseo in upstate NY attaining a BA degree in Mathematics and Physics, followed by a MS in Education from CW Post University, he fell in love with the open space and soon to be wife.

Now he lives about an hour from Niagara Falls, surrounded by open fields of corn, where he regales his 4 children every chance he can about the stark differences in his old and new life surroundings.

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Why I joined CGA

I liked the colors of the logo…to be honest, as a lifelong learner, I was looking to extend my personal learning into the digital realm. When I came across the opportunity to expand my educational experience online, I jumped at it.  Being offered the privilege to meet and get to know students from around the world, I fell in love with it.

Q & A with Mr Swift

Q: What is your philosophy or approach to education?

A: Educators and your education are like lighthouses. When you know where to look, and what they are trying to do for you, you reap such great benefits, and gain tremendous skills; or you can ignore them at your own peril. Either way, the choice is yours; you are the captain in your life's journey.

Q: How do you get your students to engage?

A:  Over the years, what has left the biggest impact with engagement, is the ability to combine humor (often at my own expense) and making sure my students are aware of how much I care for both them, and their learning. Time spent getting to know what students are interested in, asking about their day, finding common interests, can make the act of learning even the most ‘dry’ material worth the effort. (Not that math is ever boring!)

Q: What are the main differences between CGA and a brick-and-mortar school?

A: I never have to ask if students can see my screen.

Q: What is your most memorable moment at CGA?

A:  Every time I log on, and students enter the classroom, I am amazed (and say it every time) that we live in a world where I can see, talk and get to know students who are literally on the other side of the world. That is remarkable. And what would one do with this great opportunity? I always ask about the weather…

Q: Do you have any advice for your students?

A: Look up “Everybody’s free - to wear sunscreen”. That song/speech pretty much says it all.

Top Tip for Exam Preparation

Do ALL the practice problems… Ask questions about ones you get wrong, and why…then do them again.

In my free time…

When not running my students from one practice to another, I run a home improvement company, fixing problems, redoing bathrooms, kitchens, building decks, finishing rooms, etc. And on the occasional free night I play the guitar in the hopes that one day I will be asked to perform for thousands of people…

“A jack of all trades is a master of none…but certainly better than a master of one”