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95-yr-old World War II veteran turns teacher to share priceless history lesson with students

95-year-old history teacher's lessons captivate all the students because of the authenticity he brings to the table.

95-yr-old World War II veteran turns teacher to share priceless history lesson with students
Cover Image Source: YouTube | ABC7

Nobody is a better teacher than time. The more years people spend on Earth, the better their perception of life. Gene Arnold, a World War II veteran, is now teaching with students and as far as life experiences go, there's hardly anyone who's a better fit to teach history. Arnold is 95 years old and in everything that he teaches, he has been a recipient of its impact in one way or another. Before being a teacher, the man was in the army and also participated in World War II, reported ABC7. His unique approach towards the events in the book makes his classes a favorite amongst his students. They love the authenticity he brings to his lessons.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production

Arnold works as a substitute teacher in Southern California. His subject matter includes topics like the Great Depression and having lived through it in real-time, he has a unique perspective on the pains of those times and shares it with his students. He was born in the late 1920s and in his adulthood, he experienced the Great Depression in all its glory. The man experienced desperation and hunger. Even schools were not a safe haven of knowledge. He shares those experiences with the students. "We didn't have the cafeteria like you do now," he tells his students. "Kids either brought their lunch, or they didn't eat." It takes the students out of the books and gives them an authentic glimpse into those times, strengthening their knowledge. 

Like many in the country, he joined the Marine Corps during World War II. After he finished his services, he returned to his home and decided to go into teaching. He wanted to contribute to this field. "I felt and still feel that there's a big need for people to be in the classroom, people who want to be there," he said. The teacher further discussed the treasury of information he carried because of his age and experience. He takes the reaction towards him sportingly. "Well, you say, how do you remember that? I'm old!" he laughs. "Old people remember things that happened a long time ago, but we can't remember what we did this morning."



 

At present, he is teaching at Vineyard Junior High in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The administration is happy to have him and appreciates the unique perspective he brings to the table. "He is so genuine. The kids love him. He's positive, he's passionate about kids," Principal Jenny Vetere said. The students also have the same opinion. Eighth-grader Luke Scalero shares that his lessons are meaningful because his experiences have a lot of common ground with present-time issues. "He understands us and he can relate to us because he went to school too in a dark time," Scalero said. "And we were around during COVID and he was too."



 

Though the age is definitely catching up to him, it is the adoration of children that inspires him to turn up every day to school. He added, "I know what will happen, and that's the sad part: If I retire, I'm going to go home and sit down. I know that. I'm tired, I really am. Kids keep me going."

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