West Side Story

  • Girls Track and Field meet at University of Dubuque on Mar. 23

  • Girls Track and Field meet on Mar. 26

  • Boys soccer game at Mount Mercy University on Mar. 28

A day in the life of Nate Frese

Catch a glimpse of AP English Literature teacher and Instructional Design Strategist Nate Frese’s typical school day.

Nate+Frese+works+on+grading+papers+during+his+second+hour+open+on+Friday%2C+Dec.+14.
Back to Article
Back to Article

A day in the life of Nate Frese

Nate Frese works on grading papers during his second hour open on Friday, Dec. 14.

Nate Frese works on grading papers during his second hour open on Friday, Dec. 14.

Kara Wagenknecht

Nate Frese works on grading papers during his second hour open on Friday, Dec. 14.

Kara Wagenknecht

Kara Wagenknecht

Nate Frese works on grading papers during his second hour open on Friday, Dec. 14.

You may have seen him sitting in the back of your American Studies class taking notes, in the gym with the boy’s varsity basketball team or in Room 128 passionately talking about Shakespeare. This is English teacher Nate Frese.

With only two class periods, Frese is unlike most typical English teachers. For those who wonder what he does when he’s not teaching his two AP English Literature classes, here’s a rundown of his typical school day.

Frese does a lot of preparation in the morning before students start arriving. Once he gets to school at 8 a.m., he double checks his agenda for the day, which he sets up the day before. He makes sure that all of his handouts are ready and takes notes on what to add or change in the lesson plan. Besides that, he also checks his email and calendar to see if he has any meetings that day.

The main part of the job is to help teachers realize the thing that they already have inside of them, the ideas or the genius, the creativity … so our job is to kind of inspire that in them.”

— Nate Frese

During first period, Frese teaches AP English Literature. Then he tries to devote his open second period to grading or lesson planning for this class. Third period he teaches the class again and that wraps up his morning.

Besides being an AP English Literature teacher, Frese is also an Instructional Design Strategist (IDS). This group of teachers, including Jon Bach, Jenny Eustice and Tyson Smith, collaborate and talk with other teachers about something they would like to try, like a new idea or teaching style.

“You’re just kind of brainstorming, maybe providing a sounding board or asking questions to try to get them to formulate on their own what it is they really want to do,” Frese said. “The main part of the job is to help teachers realize the thing that they already have inside of them, the ideas or the genius, the creativity … so our job is to kind of inspire that in them.”

As an IDS, Frese experiences different classes he does not teach, allowing him to gain exposure to various subjects.

“Sometimes it’s seeing classes that I don’t teach at all, like a ninth grade American Studies class. Sometimes it’s kind of like co-teaching. Sometimes it’s just sitting in the back and taking notes and observing,” Frese said. “Sometimes in the afternoon I’m just basically collaborating and talking with the teacher about something that they think they want to try.”

His favorite class he has observed is AP Psychology because he liked seeing all kinds of students in the class interacting with the complex material.

“Hearing 17-year-olds talk about psychological syndromes, theories and whatnot is just really engaging. I liked that a lot,” Frese said. “I feel like if I wasn’t a teacher, I probably would’ve tried to go into psychology, just because the way people think has always been interesting to me.”

I feel like if I wasn’t a teacher, I probably would’ve tried to go into psychology, just because the way people think has always been interesting to me.”

— Nate Frese

Additionally, in order to fulfill his IDS duties, Frese regularly attends professional development meetings and meetings with other teachers. During fourth period specifically, Frese attends meetings with his IDS team. Sometimes, he meets with other teachers who don’t have a fourth period class.

“For example, this week, we have an all-day presentation we’re doing on Friday, called Pop Up PD. PD is short for professional development, so we’ve been planning that every fourth hour because that’s the only hour we have in common,” Frese said. “But sometimes I’ll try to pop in and catch a teacher over lunch … if their prep periods don’t mesh with mine, then that’s the best time to catch them.”

Besides teaching and being an IDS, Frese also partakes in several projects and committees. He is on the Language Self-Study Committee, where every curricular area goes up for review and the committee decides if the curriculum needs to be revised to meet certain district and state standards. The Self-Study Team makes sure that the curriculum is meeting goals before going under district and state reviews.

Furthermore, he is on the Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) Committee, which focuses on increasing enrollment in honors and AP classes, especially for students who have self-barriers preventing them from signing up for advanced classes. He’s also on the Social Committee with science teacher Jenny Eustice.

It’s enjoyable to work with other teachers, but … the best part is the morning, when I get to actually teach.”

— Nate Frese

“The Social Committee at West is really just Ms. Eustice, but I’ll help her out with brainstorming for silly ideas for the staff to get together and stuff like that,” Frese said.

Outside of school, Frese has many hobbies, including basketball. He is involved with West’s boy’s varsity basketball team, where he watches and breaks down opponent films for scouting purposes. He also coaches his daughter’s fifth grade club basketball team, which practices twice a week. Besides being actively involved in coaching basketball, he also likes to watch sports for fun.

“We also have season tickets to the women’s basketball team,” Frese said. “So, for example, last night, we were at Carver until 9 [p.m.] watching the basketball game, so that’s kind of a hobby, doing stuff with my kid.”

With all of his classes, projects and hobbies, Frese always has something to do, however, his favorite part of the day is when he’s fulfilling his traditional job: interacting with his students.

“It’s enjoyable to work with other teachers, but … the best part is the morning, when I get to actually teach.”

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






About the Writer
Lily Meng, Online Co-Copy Editor

Lily Meng is a senior at West High. It is her first year on staff and she is Online Co-Copy Editor. In her free time, she likes to play violin, write and...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    5 classic films to watch over break

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    Hidden culinary gems of the Iowa City area

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    Spring break for the young and bored

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    Strawberry Macarons in 2 minutes

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    3 simply delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    Book review: “The Waning Age” is a lackluster novel about emotion

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    Five books to read over spring break

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    Teachers complete the lyrics to love songs

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    “Captain Marvel” impresses and disappoints as a superhero film

  • A day in the life of Nate Frese

    A&E

    10 things you could have done with all of your inclement weather days

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The student news site of West High School
A day in the life of Nate Frese