Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: theology teacher E.J. Vieyra teaches discernment in collegiate fashion

By Douglas Granados, Staff Writer, Class of 2020

At Verbum Dei High School there are many teachers that have made a lasting impression on me, but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Mr. E.J. Vieyra.

Mr. E.J. has changed my perspective, my attitude, and my work ethic about school. These changes came about because of the way he runs his class.

Mr. E.J. runs his senior classes as if we are in college already which I like because he lectures and then lets us get to work.  We all know that we need to get our work done or we won’t earn credit.  His instilling that mindset has helped me to become a better student and to be prepared for college.

I am different from having been Mr. E.J.’s student because he taught me to work hard, and he gave me knowledge that will help me in college.  He always encouraged me to do my best and not to give up.  In order for someone to experience this and get this knowledge, he or she would have to take his class.

A learning experience in Mr. E.J.’s class that I recall is when we watched the movie The Matrix. I remember this learning experience because I love watching movies, but I was surprised how many movies share a religious context with Christianity.

What made this experience memorable for me was the connections made to the movie; now, when I am watching movies, I pay closer attention to what the actors are saying because I want to see if anything that they are saying has a religious ramification or overtone.

I specifically thank Mr. E.J. for being a great teacher for me during my senior year – despite the way it is ending.  I also thank him for making the class enjoyable.  I have always looked forward to 7th period because I knew Mr. E.J., who, even if exhausted at the end of the day, wouldn’t make the class boring.

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