Worldly teacher excels at French

Behind the Whiteboard: Robert Garrison


Larissa Rojas, The Freelancer

Robert Garrison grades papers in his room surrounded by his Patriots gear.

Larissa Rojas, Staff Writer

Robert Garrison has been teaching French for 17 years now. In Garrison’s class, there is a saying: “Hail the Garrison.” Garrison is equipped with sass, a great sense of humor, and a very cold classroom. Everyone knows to bring a sweater to his class no matter the time of year because he never fails to have his air conditioning on. Garrison has managed to have a bond with every one of his students. He used to have most of his students for three or four years before another French 2 class was added in recent years; this amount of time spent with his French students has helped him and the students get to know each other well.

A cultured and worldly man, it isn’t unusual for a French lesson to turn into an interesting history lesson as well. He is a very big history buff, a man whose interest in his beloved Patriots football team began at a young age because the name interested him. Taking one look around his classroom, it becomes evident he loves French and the francophone culture (and the Patriots of course).

Describe yourself in high school?

Sarcastic, studious, nerdy. I was in band, drama, and yearbook. All three were fun, I enjoyed them.

If you could teach another subject, what would it be?

European History for sure.

What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher?

Watching you guys grow and mature into young adults.

What’s the last lie you told?

I told my mom that I’d call her right back. Then I didn’t. I called her back the next day.

If you could go back in time to any period of history, where would you go?

Pre-revolution France. Court of Versailles.

What’s your favorite word in English and French?

In English it’s “melancholy” and in French it’s “grenouille”, which means “frog”.

What do you love most about the place you grew up in?

I grew up in San Dimas. I loved the small town kind of feel. When I was growing up, I’d known everyone who lived there. For most of us it was the only place we’d ever lived.

What’s your most bizarre/off the wall talent?

I can recognize the flags of any country in the world. The only place that becomes tricky is Africa.

Where have you traveled/lived besides the U.S.?

I’ve been to 46 states and 19 countries. I have lived in France.

How long did you live in France and what was your favorite thing?

I lived there for 2 years. I loved being immersed in the culture and language.

Describe yourself in three words?

Tall, cultured, hirsute.

What’s one superpower you would like to have?

I’d love to be able to read faster.