Eagle Eye Teacher of the Week: Mr. James Koller


Allison Beeman

Mr. James Koller has been teaching at TAES for the past 22 years.

Ask any former or current student at Tyrone Elementary School in the past two decades, and they will definitely remember Mr. Koller.

Cited by many current Tyrone High School students as their favorite teacher of all time, Mr. James Koller is known for his enthusiastic teaching methods and hilarious sense of humor.

Koller is in his 22nd year of teaching, all at Tyrone Area Elementary School.  He is a graduate of Penn State University and has taught second, third, and fourth grade in his teaching career.

Congrats to Mr. Koller for being our Teacher of the Week, you deserve it!

Eagle Eye: Why did you become a teacher?

Jim Koller: I had a less than favorable opinion of school and was not a very serious student. I wanted to help kids learn from my mistakes and make the experience more memorable for the students I teach.

EE: Why did you choose the subject you teach?

JK: Fourth grade is the perfect balance between independence and aiming to please. The kids can do things on their own, and they still respect their teachers in the way that only young children can.

EE: What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Tyrone?

JK: First, I am extremely fortunate to have such great friends on my team. Second, I am surrounded by such amazing and caring individuals in elementary school. And finally, The kids are incredible and the parents are very supportive.

EE: What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?

JK: Reading and coaching baseball.

EE: What is some good advice you’ve been given as a teacher?

JK: Never lower your expectations for your students. It creates hollow success. Allow kids to struggle. Learning is not supposed to be easy. I have found students are much more capable than they are given credit.

EE: What’s the hardest part of teaching and why?

JK: The hardest part is getting all students to believe in themselves and to understand the importance of following directions!

EE: What are some jobs held before you got into teaching?

JK: I have worked in a grocery store, a preschool, construction, and for Penn State.

EE: What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

JK: I have many phobias, including public speaking, spiders, and water.

EE: What’s your favorite movie?

JK: Hoosiers and Donnie Darko.

EE: What is your spirit animal? Why?

JK: I don’t have a spirit animal, so I will go with a spirit character: The Joker, because I try to not take things in life too seriously.