Communication Arts teacher returns from deployment in Afghanistan


Landyn Dotson and Devon Cermak

Recollecting on years past, many students may recall a unique and notable event that took to the hallways every Friday. As the week came to an end, Communication Arts teacher Mr. Dylan Moore would rift his guitar all throughout the Freshman Academy building.

In a way, his guitar playing antics made him a symbol of school life. As many students know, Mr. Moore was deployed overseas during our COVID-stricken 2020-2021 school year. Now he has returned to teaching in a whole new world.

Mr. Moore was stationed in the country of Afghanistan this last year as a member of the National Guard. Making this decision to leave teaching was not easy.

Reflecting on his time without teaching, Mr. Moore stated, “I did miss teaching while deployed. Going from six classes of 25-30 students per day to being in a silent, secret facility or in my quiet barracks was a change.”

While we at home were battling the pandemic, Mr. Moore and those around him were also subject to the event.

“The pandemic affected us overseas greatly. We were required to wear masks in real feel temperatures up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and indoors. At times we were prevented from eating in the dining facility or working out in the gym because the command teams thought it was too big of a risk. “

Now that he is back and teaching classes, Mr. Moore reflected on just how different school is now than how it was when he left.

Mr. Moore stated, “When school was dismissed in March of 2020, nobody wore masks.” The landscape he has returned to is very different from the one who left.

Mr. Moore initially had his worries about not only returning to a completely different school environment, but also returning from such a long time removed from teaching.

“There is some significant stress in leaving teaching to do a job I’ve never done overseas for a year, then come back and try and live like none of it ever happened,” Mr. Moore stated.

Relearning material was also quite the challenge.

“After a year abroad, I find myself needing to rediscover texts that I haven’t seen since I left,” Mr. Moore added.

Many would think this would be overbearing, but Mr. Moore found it exciting, stating, “It is more work, but is also fun falling in love with particular texts all over again.”

Though he virtually was thrusted back into the school environment, adjustment to the normal was quick for Mr. Moore.

“I started teaching less than a week and half after returning from deployment. I was worried I wouldn’t remember how to lead a classroom, but it all started coming back the moment I started my first class,” Mr. Moore shared.

Settling in again as a teacher at our high school, Mr. Moore has a lot to be excited about this school year.

Mr. Moore was especially excited about his new classes, as he said, “This school year I was most looking forward to teaching English Literature. I have not taught this course before, but English Literature is my favorite and most studied subject.”

Our slow crawl back to normalcy also gave him high hopes, mentioning that “Though our school life is COVID-impacted, I am grateful for that we have five days of instruction, full assemblies, sports, and social events. These activities are necessary for the social-emotional health of the student body,” Mr. Moore said.

Overall, Mr. Moore has had quite the rollercoaster of the past few years. In the span of just three school years he transitioned from teaching to being deployed overseas all the way back to teaching once again. This hasn’t stopped his enthusiasm however, as he believes he can help MV students succeed.

“My favorite aspect of returning to teaching is showing students my excitement about literature, and making said literature available to students. It’s good to see goal-driven students on the way to achieving their dreams, Mr. Moore stated.”