Teacher feature: Philosophy teacher Mr. Mazza

Photo courtesy of Ryan Murace // Philosophy teacher Mr. Mazza shares what his teaching career at Westhill has been like.

Mr. Mazza teaches philosophy here at Westhill, which is a course that talks about the meaning life and the different kinds of philosophers who have voiced their beliefs throughout time. Mr. Mazza is known for being incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to all things history, and is widely considered to be an intelligent man with a big heart.  The Westword sat down with Mr. Mazza to talk with him about his teaching experiences.

The Westword: What does philosophy means to you?

Mr. Mazza: Philosophy is thinking about life and where we came from, academic philosophy is a tempt to make that thinking clearer by studying other people and what they thought about to where they’re going in life.

TW: How/why did you become a philosophy and history teacher?

MM: They just gave me a red book one day and told me, I’ll be teaching it. *laughs* I also have a minor in philosophy for college but political science and history had the most electives at the time. However, that didn’t change the fact that philosophy wasn’t important to me. At 39, I realized I need a career changed from business to teaching.

TW: What inspire you to teach philosophy and history?

MM: I enjoy reading philosophy and history; I would read 15-20 books a year. It’s fun to teach students at this age because they are the main ones asking those questions and those questions being where did I come from and where am I going?

TW: Who are your inspirations, who inspire you?

MM: My father inspires me, he was a hardworking, committed, family man and I took that example from him.

TW: Can you tell a challenge or conflict in the past you’ve faced that encourage you to teach philosophy?

MM: The business and the family connections wasn’t my interested anymore. Even though it paid well, I had to make a decision on what I like the most. Initially around my time when you start as a teacher, it wasn’t a big deal because the pay was okay too.

TW: Will you encourage kids to take the class and why would you?

MM: Yes, everyone has those questions no matter what, on where they’re going. It’s goes around every human beings brain, they need the knowledge and skill to more clearly answer those questions.

TW: What do you consider as your weaknesses?

MM: Procrastination- I shouldn’t put things off but I do.

TW: How would you describe yourself as a person?

MM: Relaxed, easy-going because life happens.

TW: What are your opinions on life?

MM: It happens, make the best of it.