The life of Brian Tonti

Although it might not always seem like it, teachers have lives outside of just teaching. English teacher Brian Tonti is no exception and has a very busy life outside of school.

  Tonti shared what takes up most of his time outside of his job as a teacher.

  “I have three kids, so they have trained me to do whatever they want to do. I also was a soccer coach, we go hiking as a family and biking,” Tonti said.

  Although he does not coach soccer now, Tonti still actively helps out with his middle daughter’s team because he had still enjoys it.

  Tonti started coaching soccer after he played intramural in high school and college. He used to be the assistant coach for the girls varsity team here at Darby for five years, and then coached the boys team for another five years.

  Tonti has three daughters, ages fifteen, twelve, and five. He described his oldest as super artistic and the middle child as very involved in everything she does, from sports to theatre and music.  

  “The youngest is just plain nuts, she is currently into Pokémon. A big challenge for me is to switch points of view on one person to make them feel better when I’m probably not in the mood to deal with stuff like that. At first it gets sort of annoying but after a while it’s really liberating,” he explained.

  In addition to spending time with his children, Tonti was also into geocaching before most people had even heard about the hobby.

  “We started 10-11 years ago when my wife’s uncle introduced us to it while we were visiting family in California. It’s like a treasure hunt and the kids enjoyed trying to find the hidden treasure. Some are even big enough that they have actual toys in them that kids can trade out, so that makes it fun, too. Others are hidden in really sneaky ways that are tough to find, so the challenge is another reason to keep at it. It uses global GPS satellites to map the locations of hidden containers all over the place. I’ve thought about making some sort of hunt for students on school property, but there are a lot of logistics involved,” shared Tonti.

  Geocaching is really popular in their family and it has given  them incentive to travel to lots of places.

  “We really haven’t gone anywhere exotic, but geocaching takes us places we’ve previously driven past a hundred times and makes us explore them. There are literally over three million geocaches worldwide, so we’re never too far away from one, and some are really fun to hunt.”

  Another unique interest is his collection of transformers he began as a kid. “I had between 1,000 and 2,000 [transformers] and had originally started collecting them back in the 80’s as a kid. Some of the new technology and engineering is really pretty cool…I still have the very first Transformers I ever got back in the mid 80s: Soundwave, who turns into a retro tape deck and Buzzsaw, a little cassette that turns into a condor. Those two were the start of it all!”

  Tonti sure is a very interesting teacher and not to mention an intelligent one as well. Challenge yourself to take the time to talk to your teachers about their lives outside of the classroom. You may be surprised by what you learn.

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