Teacher feature: Tim Mumford

Teacher+feature%3A+Tim+Mumford

By Nishka Avunoori, Staff Reporter

Business/Tech teacher Tim Mumford knew he wanted to be a teacher ever since high school, but wasn’t sure how to apply his interests in the real world. During those years, he met a business instructor who encouraged him to use his skill sets in the classroom.

“He really resonated with me just in terms of like, these are things you’re going to need, these are things you’re going to use and this is how you’re going to use it in the future,” Mumford said. 

Mumford teaches technical education at T/E Middle School, as well as photography and mechanical and electrical engineering at ‘Stoga. This is his fifth year teaching at T/E, having previously taught at Perkiomen Valley School District and Upper Dublin School District. Computer science has been Mumford’s passion since childhood. 

“The special areas have always interested me, and growing up, computer science really took off with me. That was something that stuck with me, and it was actually the first job I had. I was teaching computer science at a middle school,” Mumford said. 

Mumford notes he likes teaching hands-on, creative subjects and correlating various topics to help students see the curriculum’s connections. One of his favorite experiences was when he helped a computer science student who did not particularly like French find enjoyment in the subject. 

“I kind of spun it. I was like, well, let’s create a program that will help people learn French. That was a nice moment to see the click between one subject and another subject and how they combine,” Mumford said. “Any chance I get to try and combine multiple subjects is usually my favorite time because I feel (students) learn more that way.” 

His inspiration stems from his desire to be better for his three and one-year-old children, and his students. 

“They (his students) absorb everything I do and everything I say. It resonates more with me now because I see it with my own children. That’s why I like teaching too, to show students what’s available to them because that’s what the teacher did for me, show me what else is out there, enjoy the process and how to make yourself better,” Mumford said. 

Besides teaching, Mumford loves being outdoors, playing soccer, reading, doing DIYs, gardening, traveling and hanging out with his kids. Mumford enjoys photography, especially taking pictures of urban scenery and ordinary life.

“I’m always curious about what people in different parts of the world do. I like seeing everyday life in an urban setting. Just the way the angles sometimes present themselves and a genuine photo of life there,” Mumford said. 

Mumford is thankful to his parents for supporting him and helping him become the person he is today. His mom quit her job to raise him and his brother, and his dad owned a small business. Together, they taught him the importance of hard work. 

“My mom made sure that we were growing up right. For me taking care of your kids comes from that perspective. They made us aware and involved as appropriate as possible with growing up, and just learning to adapt to different situations, being social, learning and developing a work ethic,” Mumford said. 

One of Mumford’s favorite teaching moments was when the students and teachers planned a “Mumford scarf day” at his old school. Mumford used to wear scarves all the time, and one day a student asked him to show her how he wears his scarf. Then, he got called into the library, where over 100 students were wearing scarves like his, waiting to greet him. 

“I didn’t realize that they put out an announcement to the homerooms a week in advance saying, we’re going to have a Mr. Mumford scarf day. A whole bunch of kids came with scarves like mine, and I was blown away because I just put on my scarf and went about my business, but it stuck (with people) enough. That was a fun moment, and that made me realize people are watching you, even when you don’t think you’re being watched for little things like how I wear my scarf,” Mumford said. 

He hopes his students remember his class as one filled with inquisition, where they had the opportunity to explore exciting topics and further their interests. 

“Be curious in whatever you do. That’s my biggest advice. It takes you down places you might never have gone before, opens your eyes to new experiences,” Mumford said.