The door is always open: Blair history teacher is always there to help
James Mogge pulls up a chair in the hallway after school before heading back into his classroom. He stays late to give extra help to students who are waiting patiently in their seats. Kids stay after the bell rings, going over their notes and working with Mr. Mogge. During his twelve years at Blair, he has taught a variety of classes. These include United States History, Advanced Placement (AP) European History, World History, AP World History and a connections class for ninth graders. He has been teaching his favorite class, AP World History, the longest, since he started at Blair.
"AP World History is sort of difficult to teach because it covers 10,000 years of history, but there are lots of interesting topics involved," he says. The history teacher loves what he does, and talks about his classes with a relaxed smile.
Mr. Mogge says the students are his favorite part of the job. "I like interacting with students and helping them explore new ideas," he says. This passion is what has kept him teaching for 29 years. He says seeing the knowledge being absorbed is one of the best feelings as a teacher. Since arriving at Blair in 1999, Mr. Mogge has helped hundreds of students achieve their goals.
He did not always know that he wanted to be a teacher however. During his senior year of college, he discovered his love for teaching. He thought about how much he liked helping people, and realized that teaching would be a perfect match.
Before college, Mr. Mogge moved around the country. Prior to moving to California, where he lived until age 17, Mr. Mogge was born in Ohio
and lived there until he was 10. He moved to Missouri for his senior year of high school. Mr. Mogge attended St. Louis University for both his undergraduate in political science and graduate degree in curriculum structure.
Before coming to Blair, Mr. Mogge taught history at Richard Montgomery in Rockville from 1981-1990. After this, he moved to California, where he taught for the next three years. He then moved back to Maryland, and taught at the old Blair building on Wayne Ave. from 1993-1996.
Mr. Mogge's family had a big impact on his career choice. His mother was an elementary school physical education teacher, and his father was a part time professor.
He also has four younger brothers who he took care of. As a young man, he was a lifeguard, swim coach and swim instructor. He has also been a sports coach for both boys and girls high school basketball for 20 years. Even his hobbies reflect his love for guiding others.
After thinking about it for a while, Mr. Mogge decides if he were not a teacher, he would like to run a restaurant. "I'm not a risky guy, but I would love to be in that atmosphere, working with people," he says.
The people are what Mr. Mogge loves about Blair too. "I like how big Blair is. It is very diverse, you are exposed to so many different types of people, and different groups that all have their niche," he says. "I also like being in the neighborhood, it is a ½ mile from my house," he adds.
Mr. Mogge is very active, and runs three to five miles a week. "I guess you could say running is my hobby," he says.
He also loves the beach, especially on the Delaware coast. The outdoorsman enjoys going to the mountains in western Maryland, and to lakes. "I like the water," he says.
Mr. Mogge also likes to listen to music. His favorite genres are Rock n' Roll, as well as R&B, jam music and jazz. He enjoys The Rolling Stones and other classics. "I'm not that into modern music- no hip hop," he says. .
Although he has lived in three different states, Mr. Mogge has not been out of North America. He has visited Canada and Mexico, but no further. He says he would like to travel more. "The goal for next year is to travel to France next spring break with the kids,” he says.
For now, Mr. Mogge remains inside the poster covered walls of his classroom, eager to help any students who might need it.
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