“You guys have got to wrap your brains around this!”
That exclamation is all too familiar to any student who’s taken one of the challenging classes taught by Jeff Breedlove at Blue Valley North High School. A self-professed “social studies nerd,” Breedlove has taught courses ranging from History of the Western World to Sociology to AP U.S. History. He currently teaches AP European History and Economics.
Breedlove began teaching at North in 2003 and has since built quite the reputation, partly for his teaching style but equally for his energy and charisma. His genuine love for his students and subject matter distinguish him from the average educator.
“Mr. Breedlove is one of those special teachers who has the ability to build strong relationships with his students while maintaining very high standards for learning,” says Blue Valley North Principal David Stubblefield. “When you walk into Mr. Breedlove’s classroom, the energy and enthusiasm he has becomes contagious.”
And enthusiasm is certainly a necessity when trying to motivate high schoolers to care about ancient monarchial conflicts or trends in economics, but Breedlove pulls it off with grace. His feats don’t go unnoticed by students, staff or parents.
Senior Mychal Masterson explains “Breedlove teaches differently. He goes out of his way to make sure the material connects with each one of his students, and that’s why he produces such successful kids.”
Breedlove’s students are always among the most prepared for the difficult AP tests they face each May, regularly earning the highest averages in the district. This success is undoubtedly due to his dedication to students and commitment to their individual growth. Knowing that succeeding in an AP course is a huge confidence booster for kids, Breedlove works with them tirelessly before and after school all year. He also offers bonus AP review sessions and practice exams each spring to help further prepare his students. He believes they are the best part of his job.
“I love what I do. I can’t wait for the start of each school year to meet an entirely new group of kids. I love watching them have that ‘light bulb’ moment when all of the hard work and diligence pays off and they finally get it. That is magical.”
Seeing all of his extraordinary classroom efforts, it may be surprising to learn Breedlove doesn’t consider historical content to be the most important component of his course.
“It’s my job to teach kids how to be better students and prepare them for further academic success. I tell them that they will ‘learn how to learn.’ This includes thinking critically, writing effectively, learning how to study and learning how to manage their time. We just do all this through the study of history.”
His focus on individual growth marks the difference between a good teacher and a great one. Breedlove’s unique approach to teaching and genuine investment in students makes him an effective educator, and a well-loved one at that.