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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The News Website for Glendale High School

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Mr. Gebeshian and His Welcoming English Class!

Your English learning will be more enjoyable thanks to him.
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Mr. Peter Gebeshian was born in Montreal, Canada, where his parents had also previously been married. They relocated to California once his father secured a better position in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Gebeshian first resided in Burbank, and he began attending school there. However, his family eventually moved to Pasadena, which resulted in him attending Pasadena High School

Following his time at PHS, Mr. Gebeshian attended Pasadena City College, before transferring to Cal State Long Beach, where he earned an English degree. He began his employment at Glendale High School in 1999 as an ELD instructor, rather than as an English teacher. 

Mr. Gebeshian is currently teaching Advanced 9th Grade English, AP English Language and 11th Grade English. He believes that moving to GHS has helped him to get closer to his Armenian community, due to him having a lot of students who are of Armenian ethnicity. 

How did you first become a teacher?

[After college], I still did not know what I wanted to do as a career. A lot of my classmates were going to become teachers. They were English majors, too, so I thought, “Okay, let me try that out.” I wanted to move out of my parents’ house, so I thought that it would have been easier. 

Then, I enrolled in a credential program at Cal State Long Beach, and that is how it started. Next, I applied here, [and at] other districts, and Glendale [High School] hired me in 1999. 

I was hired as an ELD teacher, and I was very fortunate, because at that time they needed more teachers, due to the classes. They had something called 20-to-one classes, which meant the ELD classes were one teacher per twenty students, so they just needed more teachers. It just worked out for me. 

Did you have other plans besides teaching?

Yes, I wanted to be a movie director. I was thinking of maybe transferring to USC Film School, but I just did not have any experience, because when I applied, they wanted a portfolio of work and I did not have any. 

I was in a position where I… did not know what to do. This [was] beyond me. This [was] above my head, so I just never applied for it. However, I did go to a film school in 2004, just to get it out of my system. I did it, but then I [realized that] it was not for me. 

Why did you decide to major in English at college?

I went to Pasadena City College, and when I started going there, I did not know what my major was. [I was] just taking general classes. Then I noticed that, in English classes, I was the most vocal, and I felt the most comfortable. 

I remember, there was this one teacher, who made copies of one of my essays, and passed it out to the class, because he liked it. I also remember a professor was going over our essay and she pointed me out, [and said,] “Oh, he did a good job!” He said this and I never thought about it that way. So that is when I decided [to] transfer as an English major. 

What were some hardships you faced while trying to reach your goals?

You know, when you become a teacher and [during] the credential program, they make you do so much stuff. Just the amount of work which they make you do [is enormous]. I actually think it is worse now. I think that is definitely an obstacle that you have to get through, but then also the first few years of being a teacher, like the first three to four years, are really tough. 

This also really taught me a lot about my social skills, like how to interact with teenagers, because in the beginning, I would get angry very fast. And I feel like I have learned to be chill, and not let small things in the classroom get me so angry, [because] it is not worth it.

Can you describe a typical day for you?

Personally, I wake up at six and come to school maybe 45 minutes before the bell rings. And then I just sit here, and just plan the small details, because I already know what I am going to do, and then I just go along. 

Now, this is my twenty-fourth year, so I feel like I have so much experience, which [has] affected my anxiety to get much lower. When I was a new teacher, my anxiety level was so high, because I was not confident in what I was doing. 

What personality traits do you feel a teacher needs to be successful?

I think that knowing your content is really important. You need to know your information and know how to teach it, because I feel like students want to know two things: do they know how to teach and do they have a good personality? 

Teachers have to be friendly to teenagers, obviously. You cannot become a high school teacher and not like teenagers, you know what I mean? Then that is gonna come through, so you have to be passionate about your job, and then students [will] feel that and know that you like them. They want to know that you are someone who is friendly, who is going to explain things to them in an easy way, so they [can] understand it.

How emotionally draining is your job?

Yes, it can definitely be [that way]. These last two years after COVID-19, I would not say as much, but [it has definitely been difficult]. As a teacher, you can do other things, like be the advisor of clubs, and [as] the advisor of a class, you can take on more responsibilities. If you take on more responsibility, it can cause more stress in the teaching experience. 

Again, if you’re a new teacher, like I was, it is definitely going to be draining. Students know you are new, so they are going to treat you as that. Once you create a reputation for yourself, especially as a good teacher, it gets better. 

How else has working at GHS influenced your life?

When I first started working here, I had never been around… Armenians, from Armenia, so I was not really used to the dialect. So, when I would [speak] in Armenian, they would react in a way, but then when they would start talking, I would have trouble understanding. 

So over the years, I learned the Eastern dialect and how to understand it. I learned so many new words, so I really like the fact that I know the culture, like the foods in Armenia. I also learned about “ponchiks” and “perashkis”. Therefore, I feel like teaching in Glendale really helped me to understand the culture of Armenia more. 

After teaching at GHS for nearly one quarter of a century, Mr. Gebeshian has made a significant impact on his students. He constantly stands by you in times of need, and he is a great role model. He is highly dedicated to showing his students all of his love and attention, and he has a strong educational background.

If you are lucky enough to have Mr. Gebeshian as a teacher, make sure to thank your counselor! Go ahead and stop by his room to say hello to him when you have a chance!

Mr. Gebesh is the Gebest!

About the Contributor
Ilona Serobyan
Ilona Serobyan, Staff Writer
Ilona is a sophomore at Glendale High School, and she is part of the Armenian Club. This is her second year as a member of the journalism staff, and she is proud to work on the school newspaper. She enjoys reading, sports, and art.
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