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Stillwater’s Matt Nance – Teacher of the Month – Presented by Simmons Bank

Matt Nance is a zoology and AP physics teacher at Stillwater High School, where he’s been exploring the world of science with students for the last decade. 

“I love exploring interesting subjects and sharing them with students,” Nance said. “Seeing the kids engage with the material and each other, and overcome their own challenges, makes every day rewarding.” 

As for the current educational climate and how he’s navigating the challenging world of a hybrid classroom, Nance said there are a few things he does to make sure the students respond positively. 

“I try to give every student a sense of ownership for their grade,” he said. “Combined with opportunities to correct past mistakes, I think it helps engagement by making it clear each student’s outcomes are entirely in their hands.” 

Nance is not only a native Okie, he graduated from Stillwater High School. He is the son of two retired schoolteachers, which he said has given him a unique perspective. 

“It taught me early on that a student’s home life is impossible to separate from their school life,” he said. “It also gave me a preview of the after-hours demands of teaching, and how to manage my time in that respect.” 

Nance said his plans for the next five years are to stay exactly where he is at Stillwater. 

“I’d like to expand my hands-on offerings in both my classes and possibly pursue a masters degree,” he said. “As for a dream job, I’m doing it. But if you mean besides teaching, I’d like to be a fire lookout in a national park.” 

Nance said he’d like to shout out his parents for showing me teaching is a career he can love, and his SHS coworkers for sharing in the chaos of the past year. 

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