Teaching at His Old High School; “People Had Two Different Views of Me”

Teaching at His Old High School; People Had Two Different Views of Me

Sloane Carr, Staff Writter

When teaching, Mr. Purdie tries to push the idea that “the stuff you do as a kid matters”, and he should know, because Mr. Purdie is both a history teacher  and an alumnus of Victor Senior High. 

Coming back and working at the high school he used to attend was not as simple as you may think. He did have people who thought he was a good student and a hard worker, but he also describes people remembering him in a different view. 

Purdie and his wife Aleicia. Photo Credit: Mr. Purdie

“There were some people that were kinda like, ‘he was kind of a nuisance, got into some trouble.’”

Purdie felt as if this was a huge obstacle when trying to get hired. He saw how his past affects him now and actually brings it into his teaching today to help kids who remind him of himself as a student. 

“When a kid is giving me a hard time, not maximizing their potential, doing stupid stuff. I’m thinking to myself, look we, the community, are going to work on this kid and he’s going to grow up into a productive adult, and I’m not going to hold it against him, right? I’m going to correct the behavior and we’ll get better, but I’m not permanently judging someone based on these moments of time.”

Purdie started as a long term sub in 2009, and later that school year, he was hired to fill a retirement in the department. It wasn’t very easy to get to that point, though. When Mr. Purdie graduated, it was in the middle of the 2008-2010 recession/depression. At this point many schools were laying off staff, about 15-20%. 

“You’re competing against all the kids that had graduated at the same time as you, which you normally would be, but then you were competing against all these people that were good teachers and had experience already.”

After the realization, Purdie started to explore other career options, but still had teaching at his number one. He even considered becoming a police officer because they were having written exam tests at this time. 

Football School Record Holder Andrew Purdie. Photo Credit: Mr. Purdie

One day when he was building something at the school, he was hired to be a long term sub and then to fill the retirement. He’s been working here ever since. 

Another way Mr. Purdie likes to help students in the community is with Driver’s Education. At first, he signed up for it solely for the financial side and needing another source of income. He was looking into the future and wanting to start a family, he thought taking up this as a side job would help. 

After doing Driver’s Ed for a little bit, he started to gain a different view on it. Purdie enjoyed helping kids gain more freedom when they turn 16. He describes this as “fun and inspirational”

Unintentionally make a pun as a History teacher, he ends the conversation by saying, “I get to walk with them as they make that largest jump in their freedom and independence.”