Naperville Central welcomes new staff members for the 2019-2020 school year

New staff member Tim Banas shares a little about himself with the Central Times

Danielle Pritchard, Features Editor

Q: So I’ve heard you teach science. What classes?

A: Two sections of Biology right now.


Q: Okay, so where are you from? What’s your educational background?

A: My educational background was in science. I didn’t know I was going to be a teacher right away, so I got a Master of Science in biological science, and then I started a PhD at the University of Illinois in Chicago in physiology, math and physics. While I was doing that, I discovered that I liked the teaching part of my responsibilities more than the research part of my responsibilities. So, I left there and went to Northwestern to get an alternative certification to teach high school. Then, I taught in the city for seven years. I taught at North Central College for five years. Finally, I taught at a private Catholic School for one year, and I’ve been here now for about a year and a half if you count last year’s long term subbing. 


Q: So you already mentioned some previous jobs, but what previous jobs did you do before coming to Central?

A: When I was in Minneapolis, I started doing some education writing, like writing standardized test questions, writing textbook chapters…you know, home office stuff. Then, from there, I came back here and had kids, kind of like a part-time stay-at-home dad, part-time teacher. So that’s when I was teaching at the college part time for five years. I did the one year at Rosary High School, which is in Aurora, and now I’m at Central.


Q: What are your hobbies or stuff you like to do outside?

A: I play tennis, I coach my kids’ sports teams, and I love to read. I love to watch movies. I enjoy meditation. That’s pretty much it. My kids pretty much dominate my life now, so it’s mostly my kids. Being with my kids, doing things with my kids, coaching my kids, hanging out with the family. Hiking is another one I enjoy a lot. I like dogs, going to the dog park, walking dogs, training dogs, things like that.


Q: So you already mentioned when you first realized you wanted to become a teacher, but why did you become a teacher? What appealed to you?

A: What appealed to me most about becoming a teacher is that I’ve always just liked discussing ideas and spreading ideas. It’s hard to put into words exactly what I like most concretely about it, but as I said, when I was a TA at UIC, I had research responsibilities and teaching responsibilities, and the teaching responsibilities just felt right. I just enjoyed being in the lab classrooms, showing the students how to do things, and explaining to them concepts that maybe they hadn’t gotten in lecture so clearly. I just thought I’d like to go into that.


Q: What is the philosophy you hold about teaching?

A: The philosophy about teaching is that I can do two things: Be part of the group of people that passes the culture on down to the next generation, kind of like cultural continuation, and then, of course, the next generation can do what they will with the culture once it’s been handed down to them. And then also, I like to think that I tried to encourage and teach my students how to think critically and inoculate them against misinformation and issues like that in society.


Q: Is that what you think students can expect from you, and what you hope students can look forward to? 

A: Yeah. Expanding their minds a little bit, getting them to consider things they hadn’t considered before, and then encouraging them that when they’re confronted with new information and new ideas to, again, approach new ideas from all angles, new information from all angles. Don’t believe everything you hear or see right away. Take your time, think things through. That’s kind of the nature of the sciences, this way of thinking things through, and I think that’s a valuable skill to pass on to students.