SAN ANTONIO — For as long as he can remember, Coach Tyler Clements has wanted to do one thing and one thing only.
“Be in a room full of people and help them learn,” Clements said.
As we walked the hallways of Spring Branch Middle School, Clements's inspirational projects could be seen all over the school. That’s because he’s involved in just about everything from Coaching Football, Basketball, Track, and Field, to teaching Social Studies for 7th and 8th graders.
"I serve as our instructional leader for our social studies department,” Clements said, “Everything I am as a teacher I've modeled after people who inspired me."
Clements isn’t afraid to bring levity to his history lessons. He’ll sing and play guitar so long as his kids are involved.
"You build good relationships with people and students and the learning is a natural byproduct of that.”
Coach Clements started learning the ropes of a classroom from a very young age, from someone who just happens to be his hero.
"Seeing my mom teach and watching what she did. I definitely was taking notes,” Coach Clements added as he smiled, "There's a lot of my mom in my classroom still today .”
His mom Cookie Clements has been teaching for 30 years.
"He walked the halls of every school that I was ever in and I guess maybe that's where he got his love for children,” Mrs. Clements said.
The proud mom, his dad, and his wife were standing by Coach Clements as he was surprised with a special assembly and presented with the prestigious EXCEL award.
And just like mom motivated him, Clements wants to do the same. He works every day to inspire and make his students fall in love with their history lessons.
“Every year we cover the entire library and turn it into a working Spanish Mission for Texas History. We have all our students do the activities that go into a working mission,” Clements said as he walked us to the Library, “They experience it, it's hands-on. They grind corn and translate texts and they get just for a little while to experience it."
Despite what may seem like a grind, his students say his classroom style couldn’t be more easy-going and interesting.
“He plays music,” said one student, “his power points and the way he teaches us is really chill."
Another student was quick to jump in, “Yeah, he makes learning fun.”
Coach Clements spends much of his time before and after school coaching these kids, but he’s also picked up a little extra something this year. He’s picked up a guitar and turned his hobby into yet another way to connect with the kids.
“Hahaha yeah, so this year we started up a guitar club and we had a few students come bring guitars and we tuned them up and taught a few how to play."
Regardless of what he does, Football, Basketball, Track and Field, History or Guitar lessons, there is one important lesson he hopes they walk away with.
“I would love for my students to grow and be great friends. I hope as my students grow into this society and young adults they leave school being kinder people.”
It’s something he plans on teaching for many years to come.
“I hope I'm teaching in 20 years and I'm still able to meet young people and teach them something about being a better person and the world around them."
EXCEL Award Winner: Spring Branch Middle School