Teacher Spotlight: Michael Chasteen

MetroRESA is proud to recognize Michael Chasteen, an outstanding educator who is bringing his business experience in Marketing and Sales to the classroom. Mr. Chasteen currently teaches Marketing and Entrepreneurship classes at Campbell High School, where he is truly bringing these subjects to life by guiding students through the process of building their own business.

After working 12 years in a Sales and Marketing career with a janitorial supply company, Mr. Chasteen decided to trade in the travel for a career where he could help students. He always thought about his own past teachers and coaches and appreciated the role they played in his life. He planned on going back to school to become a teacher, but then discovered Metro RESA’s GA TAPP program. “This was a great way to get the experience and training while in the classroom,” said Mr. Chasteen.

Now, just three years in to teaching, Mr. Chasteen is making a huge impact on students in Smyrna. Campbell HS is starting an entrepreneurship program in which students take business classes focused on starting their own businesses, paired with Language Arts classes to guide students through writing their own business plan, marketing materials and business research. In 10th grade, they will make a shark-tank style presentation to secure real investors from the community to help fund their start-ups. Then in 11th grade, the students have an opportunity to work with a mentor to launch and run their business through the work-based learning program, which Mr. Chasteen also heads up.

Leading the work-based learning program in a school near his home has been a great opportunity for Mr. Chasteen to build relationships with local business owners. The entire community is investing in students and helping them achieve their goals.

The real-life learning and application in Mr. Chasteen’s classes has created an amazing environment where students enjoy pushing forward to grow and learn as much as they can. Mr. Chasteen shared, “The students love developing their own ideas and are already entrepreneur-focused. We are shifting the focus of class to develop their ideas. Recently, a local podcast came in and interviewed our students to air on the podcast. Last month, 8 students exhibited their own businesses at the Smyrna business expo. The dynamics have really changed because they’re learning in order to make money rather than learning for a grade. The students are asking really practical questions that apply specifically to their own business.”

One of Mr. Chasteen’s favorite parts of teaching is being involved in the clubs. He serves as the DECA Co-Advisor and works with the Chic-fil-A Leader Academy, which is unique because of the diversity among the students as the club represents the entire school.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

2 weeks ago, we had our first student-led Impact Project hosted by the Chic-Fil-A Leadership Academy. Our students had an Impact Prom for special needs students to have their own prom experience. We partnered with the Braves and held the prom at the Braves Stadium last weekend. It was an amazing experience to be a part of. Every single person was dancing, and it was such a fun environment.

What are your favorite technologies?

I love Google Classroom. I use Remind to communicate with students and keep them up to date. There is no reason for a student not to know something. Kahoot is helpful to make class fun and game-like.

We frequently use a lot of podcasts and strongly encourage students to listen to podcasts. We are making podcasts right now using a platform called Anchor. You can film a podcast with audio, or you can take audio out of a youtube video. One student created youtube video to build awareness for her business. Then she uses Anchor to turn the audio into a podcast.

Flipgrid is terrific for students who have trouble presenting in front of the class. It gives students a different approach that helps them feel more comfortable.

What advice do you have for new teachers going through the GaTAPP program?

I encourage new teachers to maximize whatever their career background is. Share about that experience in class. The students want to learn about you; it makes it real.

Be involved in the school. That first year is tough, so you don’t want to overextend yourself, but find at least one area to be involved in. It makes it more fun and lets you get to know students outside of the classroom.

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Mr. Chasteen, Metro RESA thanks you for your dedication to students. We are so proud of the work you are doing at Campbell High School, and we watch with excitement as you invest in these student entrepreneurs and equip them for success.

Take a minute to listed to the podcast featuring Mr. Chasteen’s students! https://www.atlborn.com/episodes/campbell-high-school-entrepreneurs

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