During the Vietnam war, Jim O’Connor was not one of the many draft dodgers who tried to get away from their civic duty. He was dedicated to the United States of American and entered the military to deal with the communist threat overseas. Since he retired from active duty and became a veteran, he went on to build a career as a math teacher. But he hasn’t forgotten his military roots. He still has a military-style haircut and enforces strict discipline in his classroom. He is watchful and has a zero-tolerance attitude toward talk-back and other entitled behaviors. This military veteran does the impossible – attract and keep the attention of young people while he teaches them math essentials.
While many other American teachers struggle to keep order in their class, Mr. O’Connor commands it. He doesn’t put up with any rowdiness or misbehavior among his teenage classroom. Although his high school students are anything from perfect, in Mr. O’Connor’s classroom they’re angels. They respect his military history and his authoritative presence.
Mr. O’Connor teaches algebra and calculus at St. Francis High School in California. His “no bull” approach keeps 32 teenage boys in line. They don’t dare challenge this military veteran because they all understand the consequences. While Mr. O’Connor doesn’t resort to corporal punishment, his students are still fearful.
However, when they learned what nickname Mr. O’Connor goes by after 5pm, they couldn’t contain their excitement.
As a TLC Volunteer at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Mr. O’Connor dedicates numerous hours each week for the past 20 years cuddling with ill infants and offering emotional support to the sick babies.
Because Mr. O’Connor has type 0 negative blood, his universal blood type can help many. He has donate blood for a long time and emerged as the hospital’s top donor, giving 72 gallons of his blood so far.
While donating blood, Mr. O’Connor would walk past the NICU and see the sick babies. He wanted to help them specifically. That’s when the military veteran discovered that he had a passion for cuddling babies.
Now O’Connor spends most of his free time cuddling the sick infants in the Los Angeles hospital. He dotes on them just like a grandfather would. The doctors and nurses love it when they see Mr. O’Connor in the ward. He’s the best volunteer they have. And to think, he was one of the many men and women fighting for Democracy in Vietnam back during the war.
In the video report below, you’ll see how Mr. O’Connor’s students respond when they see what he does in his free time. They are overjoyed to know that their math teacher spends his hours volunteering with sick babies and giving them some affection.
Here are some of the comments about the clip shared on YouTube:
“Boring math teachers turn out to be volunteers at a hospital for sick babies. Boring chemistry teachers turn out to be drug lords.”
“Great guy, but he’s wrong about school. School needs to be engaging. He’s from a different era.”
What do you think about his math’s teacher’s passion?
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