Teaching at Calvin seemed to be inevitable for professor Jack Bosscher, as his father taught Engineering, his sister, Nursing, and his two brothers-in-law, Psychology and Director of Academic Services at Calvin. “I’ve been involved with Calvin since the time I was 7 years old. Calvin has been a big part of my life, for almost all of my life,” he said.
Bosscher was born and raised in Grand Rapids, attending Calvin for undergrad and earning his bachelor’s degree in English in 1971. After earning his master’s degree in English from Michigan State University, he taught English, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Church History and Math courses for 33 years at Calvin Christian High School and one year at Unity Christian High School.
While teaching high school students, Bosscher discovered the root of his passion in education. “I found that I enjoyed [teaching] people that struggled, rather than people that didn’t need me very badly,” he said. “I like teaching people that don’t come by it naturally, and that happens often in math.” This passion lead Bosscher to get his second master’s degree in Special Education at Calvin with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities in 2004.
Although he intended to finish his teaching career in a high school setting, Bosscher is thankful for his transition to Calvin in 2005. “Calvin is so thoughtful about integrating faith and learning. I’m not just teaching a subject – I’m teaching people, and I’m teaching them to become better servants of their Lord.” He taught Math and English his first year, then solely Math for the remaining years, including 2 Developmental Math courses. He also advised students in the Access Program and those who were on probation, which he believes was the most rewarding aspect of his work at Calvin, despite the difficulty.
Bosscher deeply enjoyed both his colleagues and the courses he taught at Calvin. “When you teach with people who have a special education background, usually you teach with people who are thoughtful, sympathetic and good listeners,” he said. “This is a delightful department. Teaching math can be a really fun and rewarding thing, because not everybody does it well, so when they do and they enjoy it and they tell you that they enjoy it, that’s a delightful thing,” he said.
As August 31 is his last day, he will commence his retirement by flying to Rome on September 5, embarking on a 12 day cruise from Rome, through the Greek islands, and returning for a few days in Venice. During his retirement, he also looks forward to tutoring, hunting more, and spending time with his wife and grandchildren.
However, he won’t be retiring completely. During the 2017 interim, Bosscher will be teaching math to prison inmates at Handlon Prison through the Calvin Prison Initiative. He will also be tutoring at Calvin Christian High School and Unity Christian High School. “[Calvin] has been a huge part of my life [and] a very rewarding part of my life. I can’t think of a place that I’d rather teach,” he said.