View slideshow Callisch reflects on teaching experiences
Former educator exercised hands-on, genial methods
With a career at FC spanning 28 years, former P.E. teacher Scott Callisch aimed to make his classes entertaining and engaging, incorporating additional units and sports each year he was on staff. Callisch attempted to associate with his students, and often joined in games with them.
In a typical school day at FC, many students tire after retaining loads of information in numerous subjects. For a break, students often look forward to being involved in physical education (P.E.). As a P.E. teacher, Scott Callisch attempted to offer amusement in all sports and activities. His convivial, comedic attitude has earned him a certain reputation at the school.
For the past 28 years, Callisch worked in FC's P.E. department, bringing sports and activities to fellow students. His interest in kinesthetic-related activities kept him participated in the job. However, Callisch recently retired, moving to San Luis Obispo to pursue a business enterprise: The Flip Flop Shop. Callisch spent his last day working at FC, Oct. 21.
Callisch begins educational journey
Callisch's passion for P.E. first ignited while studying in college at San Josť State University.
"I was in college, and I was coaching a high school basketball team and it came to the point where I had to declare a major," Callisch said. "I wanted to keep coaching. Back then, if you wanted to coach you had to teach because most of the coaches were teachers. So I thought, 'What goes with that?' I like P.E. and I'm good at it, so I declared as a kinesiology major."
For four years, Callisch studied and worked for his major in college. Upon graduating in '79, Callisch acquired his first job as a P.E. teacher at Berean Christian High School, in the Oakland area.
"I taught in Walnut Creek for three years," Callisch said. "It's a little south of Oakland, up by San Francisco. It was a small private high school, with about 300 kids."
From his background, Callisch claims he noticed the differences between FC and Berean, contrasting the schools despite the similar Christian environment.
"It's pretty different from Fresno Christian in the fact that there was only one church sponsoring them and it was very conservative," Callisch said. "I don't know about now, but that's how it was back then, about thirty years ago. As the P.E. department goes, it's not much different, but we didn't do as nearly as much as we do here. This school's P.E. department is far more varied, but the students are pretty much the same."
Callisch remained at Berean for three years and taught from '80-'83. In '84, Callisch discovered FC, and began his long teaching streak.
Callisch attempts to create memorable, recreational environment
Over Callisch's teaching career, humorous and absurd scenarios have piled up, creating memories.
"Around three years ago, we were playing softball or baseball for a unit," Callisch said. "Brandon Porter slid into third base and Tyler Laird, instead of tagging him, caught the ball and just threw it at Porter as he was sliding in. We all just stared at him and laughed; it was kind of funny and weird."
In order for his kids to acquire this kind of fun in P.E., Callisch got himself involved in sports outside of school. Callisch's talent for athletics comes naturally, he says.
"I like sports and I personally play things like golf, basketball and pretty much anything," Callisch said. "I enjoy being active and getting kids active. As my skills go, I don't know, I was just born with it. I was just born naturally to play. Actually, I have really good hand-eye coordination and pretty good balance, so it makes it easy for me to do most of the sports. Like [math teacher] Mike Fenton can do math, I can do most sports pretty well."
"I don't just sit around and watch the students like so many other teachers do; I hate that. I try to keep the kids interested. I, myself, try to keep interested in the students and I bring my best game every period." --Scott Callisch, former FC teacher
As a P.E. teacher, Callisch aimed to bring in entertainment by keeping games fast-paced and active. He associated with his students, and even often joined in the game with them. Callisch did this with every class, and tried to stay energetic for the kids.
"I try to keep it fun, fresh and competitive, and I make the students move all the time with little time standing around," Callisch said. "I'm active; I don't just sit around and watch the students like so many other teachers do; I hate that. I try to keep the kids interested. I, myself, try to keep interested in the students and I bring my best game every period."
Sophomore Lucas Lopez finds fun and relaxation in P.E. class, and admired Callisch for being active with the students.
"I like the athletics in it." Lopez said. "I like being with my friends and hanging out. It's a fun period to be in to just work out and have fun. The games are a blast. Callisch participated in a lot of them and he's great at all of them. It's great to have the teacher join in too. He is awesome; best sports guy I have ever seen.
Like Lopez, junior Logan Rood enjoys playing competing with her friends in the class.
"I like playing different sports and a lot of my close friends are here in P.E. so it makes it fun," Rood said. "Mr. Callisch was a funny teacher and he made the class even more fun."
Callisch states that P.E. is dreaded by some due to many factors beyond control. However, he tried to strive on the impact that transforms even hate to reconsideration.
"Just looking at the field, you can tell you have some students that will never be happy no matter what you do" Callisch said. "But it's great when you see students like Zachary Diaz de la Cuesta, who hated P.E. and didn't do anything his first year, who then turn out to be the most agressive and active kids. I just like seeing kids coming and hating it, and leave liking it. That's why we do so many activities to try and find stuff kids like."
Callisch often looked past the realms of the classroom, and began to take students on activities know as Adventure P.E., which pushed students to experience things outside of school. On one of his last days of teaching, Callisch is seen posing with students while on a surfing trip in Santa Cruz, Oct. 20.
Many of Callisch's students in the past gained influence from him, and as a result work in similar areas of occupation.
"I've had several of my ex-students go into coaching," Callisch said. "John Hall, Eric Gilmore, Chris Schultz and others all came back and coached sports such as track, basketball, football and baseball. I think that's exciting for them to come back and teach."
Ventures play role in career
Callisch has even looked past the realms of the classroom, and began to take students on activities outside of school for a new environment of learning. These numerous activities became know as Adventure P.E., and pushed for students to experience things outside of school.
"I started to expose stuff that kids can do after they're outside of high school because kids go after school and they don't do anything," Callisch said. "And there's so many things out there they could be doing. If kids wanted to learn how to surf, we can take them surfing ... We do all kinds of crazy things. These kids don't get a chance to do a lot of fun stuff. So I just wanted to give them a chance to do some stuff."
Over his years of teaching, Callisch has grown and gained experiences that allowed him to acquaint himself with a larger range of students. Callisch also gradually added more units over the years, allowing for more diversity and the ability to reach more students.
"Well I was new then, and I'm far older that the students are now," Callisch said. "I think now I have a better handle on students. I don't get angry now as much. Over the years, I added more units and stuff. Back then, we didn't have that much. I think I know how to reach and communicate with more types of kids. Before I could relate to the athletes and the kids who were highly motivated. I had a hard time relating to ones that weren't motivated and who didn't want to play and didn't put an effort in."
For more information on Callisch, read the FC community celebrates Callisch's work, legacy (VIDEO.