New teacher also plays pro football

Photo by Belen Silva
Abasi Thomas speaks  during a recent sixth period class. In addition to teaching, Thomas is a professional football player.

The Magnet Tribune: Belen Silva

Photo by Belen Silva Abasi Thomas speaks during a recent sixth period class. In addition to teaching, Thomas is a professional football player.

Delilah Gonzalez

The school’s new Pre-AP World Geography instructor is not only passionate about football, but also plays professionally.

Abasi Thomas, who played for the Rattlesnakes, said he played since he was a child.

‘’I’ve loved football since I was a little kid. I’ve played football since I was 6 years old,’’ he said.

He said many former teammates are still in the city.

“I keep in touch with a lot of them, but you know some of them still live here in Laredo,’’ Thomas said.

You have to be tough to do both of them. You learn a lot of things about yourself. ”

— Abasi Thomas, Pre-AP World Geography instructor

What are some challenges of playing football?

The challenge of playing football, especially at my age, is taking care of your body,’’ Thomas said.

He said teaching is similar to playing football.

“You have to be tough to do both of them. You learn a lot of things about yourself,’’ Thomas said.

Thomas said he contributed to the team by being a leader.

“I feel like I was in many ways a leader on the team because I was one of the older guys on the team,’’ Thomas said, who played linebacker.

He said he has considered becoming a high school coach.

“I’ve thought about it and I’ve been offered some some coaching jobs, but my primary focus is teaching,’’ Thomas said.

Thomas said he deicided to become a teacher when he was young.

“From an early age whatever profession that I choose would be one that helps people, and teaching is the way I can touch people’s lives,’’ Thomas said.

He said his teaching philosophy is to connect learning to real life.

“Make my subject relatable to the real world. Make students see that what they learn is relevant to the real world,’’ Thomas explained.

Thomas said his greatest strength is being patient.

‘’My greatest strength I would say is my patience. I’m like a monk,’’ Thomas said.

His goals as a teacher are to connect to students.

“My goals are to continue what I’m doing, to continue to touch people and make connections with the students, basically,’’ Thomas said.

Thomas compared teaching at VMT with teaching in his home town, Houston.

‘’There’s a lot fewer discipline problems here at VMT than at my previous school,’’ Thomas said.

He said he likes his VMT students.

“The kids here are very very nice and extremely polite,’’ Thomas said.

Some students at his previous school caused Thomas some frustration, he explained.

‘’From my previous job, I don’t like to say anything bad about a place, you know, but there were times it would be frustrating when a student didn’t care about his own education,’’ Thomas said.

He said he’s met a lot of people in Laredo.

‘’Yeah, I made a few friends here. Most of the time I don’t see anybody. I do know some people. I kinda keep in touch on Facebook and stuff like that,’’ Thomas said.

He’s hoping for a long stay in the city and at the school.

“I’m very happy to be here at VMT. Kids are great. Staff is great,” Thomas said. “This is a dream place to work and I’m happy to be here. I hope to be here for a long time.’’