By JESUS PACHECO and DANIEL MEJIA
Caleb Allen is a first year biology teacher and leadership advisor at Orangewood High School, but not new to Redlands or Orangewood.
He says he mostly grew up in Redlands when he was younger and actually went to school at Orangewood after his 10th grade year.
Allen went to Orangewood because he wanted to graduate early.
According to Allen, back then at Orangewood you didn’t need as many credits so it was easier to graduate faster than a normal high school. Another reason he came here was because he wasn’t enjoying the school he was at.
“My experience here was a good one,” says Allen, “Even though I was a troublesome student I knew I could succeed here with a little motivation. I made good friends here that I still have today.”
There haven’t been many changes to the buildings at the school, but the most distinguishable change was that before eAcademy shared a campus with Orangewood, those used to be classrooms for Orangewood students.
Allen says he definitely does not regret graduating from Orangewood.
“I haven’t had any disadvantages because I graduated from Orangewood at all in higher education or anywhere for that matter,” says Allen. “My only regret is not applying myself earlier and succeeding when I had the chance, but it is never too late.”
During Allen’s earlier years he performed many different types of work.
One of his jobs would include working in healthcare. He worked in a position of registration and insurance clerk for the University of Loma Linda Health Care amongst other medical groups. Another line of work Allen did was carpentry, where he built cabinets for new and old homes. Allen also worked as customer service for DIRECTV.
Before going back to school to finish his bachelors of science degree in science education, Allen says he was a stay-at-home dad for almost six years.
“I always enjoyed science as a kid, and I had some pretty amazing science teachers during my schooling career, so that helped push me in that direction,” says Allen. “I like discovering new things, and with technology today there is always more and more discovery and that means more science I can learn and teach.”
He says that there is no teacher that he knew when he attended Orangewood that is still teaching, but his favorite teacher at Orangewood was Mrs. VanMaurek. He also said that he has had many great teachers from elementary all the way through to college.
Orangewood students have many good things to say about Allen too.
“Mr Allen is one of the most funniest and chillest teacher on campus,” says Orangewood junior Dylan Espinoza, who took his biology class this year. “If you are cool with him he’s cool with you. I was with him for almost this whole school year and not once I ever seen him get mad.”
Allen’s favorite part of his job is seeing his students succeed or have a moment of understanding.
“He helps you even if you don’t ask,” says Espinoza. “If he sees you struggling he will be there to help you.”
Allen has been teaching on campus since last school year, since he was a student teacher.
“He was my student teacher when I was a junior and he was always super nice and funny, but he knew how to get serious when he needed,” says Orangewood senior Jasmyn Sousa, “He was cool and I think he’s a great teacher.”
Allen says that seeing his students succeed or understand something new is his favorite part of teaching.
Allen says “You have to come up with ways to ensure your students are willing to do the work and gain the knowledge.”
He feels cell phones are the most challenging part of the job, but he does use technology in his lessons.
Allen says, “I am fairly new to teaching, so technology is the norm for me. I think the technology shift has some massive benefits to teaching, but I also still like just using a pencil and paper. Technology in teaching has its place, as well as, teaching with less technology. It just depends on the subject or lesson.”
Some of Allen’s hobbies are going to the gym and playing games with his son in his down time.
He also likes to travel, enjoys going to the beach and having fun with his family.
Another hobby Allen has is that he likes to lift weights in his spare time.
But other than that he also spends his time organizing his school lessons. He plans everything a day before so he doesn need to rush the next day.
Allen says he’s a pretty open person so there isn’t much others don’t know about him. He shares about being colorblind.
“There are definitely difficulties with colorblindness, I can’t tell certain shades of greens and red apart at all, I also used to wear a lot of purple thinking that it was blue,” says Allen.
If he had a chance to talk to his past teenage self he says would tell him,”Invest heavily in Apple stock! Seriously though, I would tell myself to make the most of opportunities when they come up. If I would’ve applied myself at Orangewood when I was here, I would’ve moved forward a lot faster in a lot of ways.”