High school can be a challenging time for many students. But to get through those challenges, one La Crosse advisor is giving his students a unique learning experience.
News 8's Sarah Thamer introduces us to this month's Top Notch Teacher.
"I'll leave it up to you!"
Like many high school advisors, Keachen Abing knows the job isn't always easy.
"I would say we're one big dysfunctional family," says Abing.
And that's why he loves it.
"It's an awesome responsibility."
For the last three years, Keachen has been an advisor at 7 Rivers Community High School in La Crosse, a school that offers a project-based approach to learning.
"In other words, students get to have a choice when it comes to education."
"If we have an idea for something called an innovation showdown, where we can just pose an idea and say alright let's get together let's figure out this problem that'shappening in our community, well we can do it."
For Keachen, it's an approach that hits close to home. He knows it can make a difference.
"This isn't about me at all. I had a challenging time in middle school especially and in high school I was given a new opportunity."
Because of Keachen's personal experiences, he's encouraging his students to do things differently when they're at school.
"To question things, to question resources we obviously still love having textbooks but they're just a resource and lets think beyond that okay what else is there?"
And when the light bulbs go off, Keachen is often left wondering: do they pay me for this?
"I cannot believe that I just got paid this week because I got up this morning and did something amazing and went home and got to share that with my family and I'm making a living."
"I'm truly blessed."
It can be rare to find a job that doesn't feel like one. And Keachen's students can tell, he teaches from the heart.
"Going to Keachen is like going to an older brother like going to your parent and being like hey can you help me with this?"
I know that with him I can talk to him I can make jokes with him.
But Keachen insists, it's always, about the students.
"It has nothing to do with me or anything that I can do which is inspiring as a teacher like Im nothing im just here to say, cool you got it! now go do it!"
In La Crosse, Sarah Thamer, News 8.
Keachen is especially grateful because this year will be the first year of graduating seniors at 7 Rivers Community High School.