The Virginia Association of Driver Education and Traffic Safety (VADETS) presents an award each year to an outstanding teacher that performs great work in the classroom. Edgar Moser, Salem High School’s Driver’s Education Instructor since 2000, was this year’s recipient. Because of COVID-19, the conference held last month had to be done virtually
“This marks my 21st year at Salem High. I recall years ago when I first started that we used textbooks, took notes and showed long movies to help reinforce the material. Now, the curriculum has gone through several changes and the methods to present the materials have changed too,” Moser said. “Today, there are shorter videos because I think students’ attention spans are shorter, and there are more PowerPoint presentations, technology and guest speakers with demonstrations to employ.”
Over the years, Moser has taught his students how to be safe, courteous, attentive and ticketless drivers. Last week he had the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) bring its tractor-trailer to Salem to help students realize the importance of checking blind spots when following, passing or driving near vehicles of similar size.
“With the VTTI folks bringing their tractor-trailer for my students, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to invite my wife’s dad, Junior Poe, who lives close by in Salem, to come join us,” Moser said. “With Junior being a truck driver for over 42 years and amassing nearly five million miles, I thought he would appreciate seeing the tractor-trailer and how trucks have changed since he drove them years ago.”
The elements that all good educators have, according to Moser, are creativity, being able to hold students’ interest, being genuine and just having a simple passion for the profession.
“I have been blessed to have longevity with my job, so that I have learned what works and what doesn’t work over the years as I teach. Just as with teens driving, there is really no substitute for experience,” Moser said.
When asked what’s the most enjoyable aspect of his job, Moser noted, getting to know students and helping to make a difference in their lives.
He added, “I thought it was very nice that the day I won the award, a student came into my office and said she had been given the opportunity in another class to write an encouraging card to her teachers, letting them know she appreciated all that they do.”
Moser has been happily married to his wife Ginny, an employee at George Washington Carver Elementary School, for 39 years.