In With the New: Mr. Chou

Mr. Chou, the new boys’ tennis coach and a new algebra teacher at West High hopes to inspire his students and to help them overcome their fears of failure.

Art/Photo by Sarah Han

Mr. Chou, the new boys’ tennis coach and a new algebra teacher at West High hopes to inspire his students and to help them overcome their fears of failure.

Sarah Han, Staff Writer

  At the beginning of every school year, new students and teachers arrive at West, full of excitement, hope, and aspiration. The 2020 to 2021 school year was no different. One of these new arrivals was Mr. Chou, a new algebra teacher who would also be coaching the Boys’ Tennis team this year. 

   Mr. Chou reflected on what his teaching experience has been like so far. He elaborated on the aspect of teaching that he most enjoyed, saying, “I think it’s easier to have students… explore different things. If they’re more willing to explore concepts and are trying to learn about things, I think that’s better for their learning experience.” 

   In the future, Mr. Chou remarked that he wanted to teach students how to look past their failures and overcome them since “the biggest obstacle to students in math is definitely themselves.” He understood that some students may “shut down” as a result of frustration in math, and wanted to help them look past that, and to believe in their own abilities. 

   As the new Boys’ Tennis coach, Mr. Chou also emphasised the importance of mindset as a tennis player. As someone who played four years of varsity tennis at Peninsula High School, he recognized how difficult it can be under the pressure of a team. However, he stated that his experience could help the students since it could “speak a lot to improve students’ game,” and “relate to the students’ pressure.” He wanted to be a coach that could inspire and to improve his students. He also expressed his hope to prevent as many injuries as possible this upcoming season by teaching the importance of “building up your muscles,” since it’s not something that is always taught or prioritized in athletics.  

   The Boys’ Tennis team has had three different tennis coaches within the past three years. Ishaan Venkatraman (11), a varsity player for the tennis team, has emphasised his hope to have a coach that “pushes his students to do better,” since that was something that he claimed to have lacked in previous years. Venkatraman also spoke of what he thinks the future of his team will be like with Mr. Chou: “I feel like, you know, the journey with him will be really nice.” 

   Within the first few weeks at West High, Mr. Chou has made himself an incredibly important part of students’ academic and athletic lives. With hopes to further impact kids in the future, he will continue to contribute more and more to West High’s community.