Dior King-Aris is more than just a teacher


Danielle Stein

Dior King-Aris explains physics concepts to his students during a lesson.

Ava Des Marais, Reporter

Although Dior King-Aris is not the most well-known physics teacher, individually, his love for education and drive to create a positive learning environment is loved by his students. Through his passion for teaching, his first choice and major in college was Chemistry and Science Education. His schooling ended up bringing him to Oviedo to intern under renowned Chemistry teacher William Furiosi, which preceded his eventual job as a physics teacher. 

He always possessed a love for physics during his years of schooling, taking all available physics classes. However, his love for chemistry led him to the subject again.

“Physics almost feels like this cosmic gotcha moment,” King said.

That ‘gotcha moment’ turned out to be when he was offered a physics job at OHS. That same energy transfers into the teaching of his own students. King’s favorite part of teaching is the developmental aspect and the progressing of student’s minds.

“In a class like physics, in the beginning, everyone’s lost,” he said. “You have to change the way you think.”

As a teacher, King allows his students to watch the gears turn until that moment happens. Not only does King provide these pieces of the learning journey, the different learning styles of students come into play in his methodology as well.

By establishing a relationship with each student, getting to know their personality, as well as likes and dislikes, he gets a sense of where he might place a student in a group setting. This gives King placement for each student, possibly in a leadership role, or a mediator. The creation of work for each ‘tier’ of student allows each individual to progress at their own pace, where there is always room for growth. 

Some of King’s favorite projects that fall under this category are  water rockets, marble launchers, and hands-on electricity. The physical aspect of learning can be extremely important for some students to learn, and for others just plain fun. When working with electricity, the goal is to light a little boat in the ways they have learned already. 

“Sometimes they accidentally electrocute themselves, which is a learning process,” King said. “It’s not a big zap, but they really feel like they’re discovering electricity – which was the way it was discovered in the first place.”

In that way, King takes them back in time to re-experience these important creations history has brought us. However, most educators are solely thought of as individuals that stay at school all the time and grade papers. They are often given one label: the teacher. But unbeknownst to some students, teachers are more than just teachers. They are hobbyists, adventurers, and musicians, and just as complex as any other person one might come across. Not only does King work as a physics teacher, but he is passionate about his side hobby of photography. 

He uses a Leica Monochrom, which only takes pictures in black and white. This was purposeful of King because a way of getting better at photography is to only take black and white photos, so the image does not rely on the color. 

“The composition has to be good,” he said. “The best kinds of photos have you asking more questions than providing more answers.”

The small moments are important to King as well, as his favorite things to take pictures of are friends and family. It’s vital to capture moments of birthday parties, or hanging out with friends and family. These are the types of moments we all strive to remember.

“I see that once in a lifetime moment,” King said.