Muhlenbeck and Gosmire


Thompson Wakefield

Muhlenbeck and Gosmire make sure their students feel welcome at LHS.

Thompson Wakefield, Staff Writer

Every day as I walked down the halls of LHS, a certain classroom caught my eye. Outside the door stood two bearded men with a variety of students, many of which I have come to know throughout my education. As I passed by the classroom each day, I would wonder what these two teachers taught that would host this specific group of students. My curiosity grew to the point where one day I decided to walk into the class and see what it was all about. Upon entering, I saw an environment that felt foreign to LHS. Dim lamps posted around the room, students laying on the floor and playing games with the teachers, relaxing music playing over the speakers and a group of people who looked genuinely happy to be at school. The two teachers noticed me, and after a couple of minutes of trying to pronounce each other’s name, I met Kyle Muhlenbeck and Myles Gosmire.

These two men, who initially seemed more like Silicon Valley bigshots than high school teachers, explained to me the variety of classes they teach. Muhlenbeck, a tier two teacher, and Gosmire, a behavior facilitator, have the typical job of guiding learning center, but they also teach two unique classes called positive student interaction and social awareness. These classes aim to help students with choice making, understanding the ways other people view situations and recognizing that disagreements are a natural part of life. These topics, that many students find difficult to some degree, are rarely directly taught in other areas of education. Instead, students are expected to be naturally good at operating in these fields, which is where Muhlenbeck and Gosmire come to the rescue.

“My day-to-day is literally just trying to help students that are struggling,” said Gosmire. “During the actual class periods, it is engaging with the students, helping them get through the assignments. Most of the time it’s social.”

Talking to each other is a large part of the classes that Muhlenbeck and Gosmire teach. Not only do the students develop their skills this way, but it also creates an environment where everyone has a good time.

“Socializing is the best part, I think,” said Gosmire. “We can sit there and do school work and classroom stuff all day, and obviously get the moans and groans of that, but talking about a specific team subject and having everyone in the class opening up and talking is probably the best feeling.”

Muhlenbeck and Gosmire clearly enjoy spending time with their students, both from a productive and recreational perspective.

“I think it’s pretty fun,” said Muhlenbeck. “It’s a great place for people who struggle with coming out of their shell and expressing themselves.”

Having a classroom with two teachers during all lessons likely seems foreign to most LHS students, but for Muhlenbeck and Gosmire, it completes the job. 

“I’m a very social person, and so having a co-teacher is a great thing because it helps with problem-solving,” said Muhlenbeck. “It’s way better to have two brains when solving a problem than it is to just have one person trying to figure it out all on their own.

Gosmire shared Muehlenbeck’s sentiment of how having a co-teacher affects his experience.

“I think students coming [to class] and knowing that it’s a little more relaxed type of setting, which we kind of make it, obviously, with the lamps and the music and trying to relate to students,” said Gosmire. “Just kind of that down-to-earth presence and feel of [Muhlenbeck], being kind of the same age as me.”

Anyone can see how Muhlenbeck and Gosmire naturally click when talking to the two of them or watching them teach.

“Mr. Gosmire is someone I probably would hang out with outside of school,” said Muhlenbeck. “But because of COVID we haven’t.”

Although Muhlenbeck and Gosmire create a relaxed and enjoyable period for their students, it is not all fun and games. Positive student interactions and social awareness are still classes, including lessons, assignments and occasionally unamused children.

“The no [is the most difficult part],” said Gosmire. “A lot of times, kids see schoolwork as just this mindless, horrible chore and so no for them is just ‘I don’t have to do it.’ But to make them see it as ‘it’s not a chore, it’s something that’s going to help you later in life,’ that’s probably the most challenging.”

Rather than one specific subject, the assignments in the classes aim to help students outside of academics, with everything from getting a summer job to understanding other people’s emotions.

“We read stories about other kids’ choice-making and then we have discussions about what we thought about how that person did that,” said Muhlenbeck. “One of our sections is called emotional literacy, and actually a lot of people could do better at this, is to learn how to explain that feeling that you’re having right at that moment.”

Like other teachers at LHS, Muhlenbeck and Gosmire have a passion for their work. Muhlenbeck’s reasons for being a tier two teacher date back to when he was in high school and his own education.

“I started doing this because my experiences in school, a traditional schedule, traditional punishments and consequences at school didn’t motivate me to want to complete the work or think about my future in a career,” said Muhlenbeck. “I feel led to help students who also don’t fit into that traditional education path, to find something that works well for them so that they can learn and also are motivated to have successful, healthy lives after high school.”

Gosmire has similar, admirable intentions when walking into class every day.

“The main goal is to get kids to graduate and help them along the way and make good choices,” said Gosmire. “The excitement in a student’s eyes when they’ve only seen failure their entire lives, and with a little bit of guidance and some help from teachers or me, having their eyes bright up and be like ‘woah, I actually did it, I can do that,’ or them being surprised that they succeeded, has always been awesome.”