Image of Mr. Garza

Ruben Garza

High School Teacher

Bachelor’s Degree, Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio; Certificate in Welding Engineering, Delta College; Teaching Certificate, Saginaw Valley State University; Master’s Degree, Curriculum and Instruction, Central Michigan University

Ruben Garza started teaching in 2017 and joined Great Lakes Learning Academy in 2019. He teaches mathematics to students in grades 9–12. 

Why He Became a Teacher

“Being a teacher for me was never in the cards after I graduated from [college],” says Mr. Garza. “I moved to Michigan to do a welding certification … and was hoping to join a welders’ union. After stumbling, I found a teaching program. I decided to take all my school, work, and life experiences and help the next generation. [I’ve loved] every opportunity to teach students all levels of math.” 

According to Mr. Garza, the most rewarding part of working at Great Lakes Learning Academy is seeing and knowing he’s making a difference in student learning through the one-on-one instruction he provides. Although he enjoys on-camera LiveLesson® sessions with the entire class, he says, “the real fun for me is learning more about the students individually.” 

The Online Experience at Great Lakes Learning Academy

“At Great Lakes Learning Academy, students learn to be self-governed,” Mr. Garza explains. “The school is asynchronous, which allows students the flexibility to complete schoolwork on their own time. Students start building their work ethic, [which will] help them with their future endeavors.”   

He loves picking music with students for them to listen to at the start of their LiveLesson® sessions and says, “it’s a great way to start off with some fun before … doing math.” 

His favorite field trip was the business fair trip to the Detroit Lions. According to Mr. Garza, “It was awesome to talk football to the students.”  

What Parents Thinking of Enrolling Their Child Here Should Know

“This school has great teachers [who] will go out of their way to help your child succeed,” Mr. Garza explains. “I’ve been through a lot. I graduated from high school with honors and went on to barely graduating college. I went from having a long-term career prospect to unemployment.  

“Whatever students are going through, or whatever [they] have planned for their future, I feel that my life experiences can help [them]. I want students to know that with the right attitude, anything is possible.” 

Mr. Garza’s Personal Interests

“I run a ‘u-pick’ flower farm with my wife, so that is a lot of work there. I do a lot of weekend trips around the state and a couple of camping trips during the summer. Winter is fun when I get to plow the driveway and just have fun sledding in the snow.” 

“I bring real-world experience and examples into the conversation. There is always something outside high school that helps students connect the dots.” 

— Mr. Garza