Q&A: Mr. Timothy Bannon, Business


Mr. Bannon poses for a picture in his classroom. He has been teaching at Lake Central for 11 years.

Isabella Watts

Q: What classes do you teach?

A: This year I’m teaching all introduction to business classes, but in the past it’s usually been half and half personal finance an introduction to business.

Q: How long have you been teaching at Lake Central?

A: This is my 11th year.

Q: Have you taught at any schools other than Lake Central?

A: I did. I taught at a school in Illinois [called] Wacken High School and I was a business teacher there for two years, before I came to Lake Central.

Q: How did you start teaching?

A: I had a corporate career before I started teaching and I had actually been with a couple companies that were troubled financially. And they call it “rifing,” reduction in force, which is just a nice way of saying were getting rid of you. It happened to me twice, I kinda got tired of that, because all of a sudden you go to work one day and you have a job and you go home that night and you don’t. So that’s what made me think about changing careers. And I had always thought about teaching. For some reason I just never had done anything about it. What made me get interested in it was I’ve always loved to be around kids of any age. It just gives me great joy to be around kids and I noticed kids would come to me, and I thought maybe that’s what I should try. That’s what took me down that path. Nothing more intellectual than that got me thinking about it.

Q: What’s your favorite part about being a teacher?

A: There are so many parts of it that I like. But I think what I like most is just [that] I don’t even consider it a job. Just to come into my place of employment and be able to work with young people every day, it’s like a gift. So that’s like the big thing I enjoy. And I always love that moment of recognition, when you see the light bulb go off in a student’s head; that’s real rewarding for me too.

Q: Did your previous jobs help you with teaching?

A: Yes. I do not think I could be the teacher I am now. I always kinda kicked myself because I should’ve done it sooner, and then after I think about I think I don’t think I would’ve been the teacher I am if I’d done it sooner and if I hadn’t had all those business experiences to bring into the classroom.

Q: Why do you like teaching the classes you teach now?

A: I am prejudice when I say this but I try not to spend one minute on anything that a kid won’t use later in life. So in other words I try to teach things that are going to make young adults and adults lives better because they know how to do these things. That’s the whole realm of the business and personal finance stuff that I teach.

Q: What is your favorite class that you teach now?

A: I can’t, I can’t pick one. I’m thinking what I taught, the personal finance class I love, the introduction to business classes I love. I’m also licensed to teach social studies, I love teaching history, teaching government. But those are kinda like my nerdy things I love.

Q: What is one thing you try to teach all of your students?

A: It’s not a thing, it’s an attitude, I try to teach empowerment; you’re in control. Because a lot of times especially when you’re a teenager. Every adult in your life is telling you what to do, and that’s going to come to an end. So what I try to do is I try to teach empowerment. That yes I can take care of myself, yes I can be successful, and yes I know how to do that. It’s a wonderful feeling once you start feeling empowered. That’s all the kinds of things, that’s why I teach interviewing skills, and it’s those kind of things I try to focus on.

Q: What did you originally plan on doing for your career?

A: This is my third career. I was a journalist in my first career, which I had planned to do, I went to school,  my first college degree was in journalism. And another major in political science. So I worked as a journalist for several years. And then I went into business. And I went back to school for that and got my mba and did that. And now teaching is my third career. I went back to school to do that.