Tiffin's former top administrator has found himself making the transition from leading the city to leading classrooms.
Former Mayor Jim Boroff's re-election bid fell short by 34 votes during a primary election last year, according to Seneca County Board of Elections. He said when it was apparent he would be looking for a job at the end of the year, he was told substitute teachers were needed, and schools have a hard time finding people who are available.
Being in a classroom is nothing new to Boroff, 61, because he taught at Heidelberg University and at Quantico, a U.S. Marine Corps base, when he was in the FBI.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Former Tiffin Mayor Jim Boroff spends time with students while serving as a substitute teacher at Clinton Elementary School last week.
He said his mother taught for about 16 years before she got married, and said she had a passion for teaching. His father had teaching credentials, his grandfather taught for a short time and three sisters were trained in teaching. Two of them made it a career.
"It's kind of in the family," he said.
Boroff said when he applied to be a substitute teacher, he figured he would do better with students in fourth grade and older, but Tuesday was his first day substituting in a class with students older than fifth grade. He said he has spent a lot of time substituting in the younger grades.
"I think they like it. ... I certainly do," he said.
Boroff has worked in special education and first and fourth grades and was a teacher's aide at Clinton
Elementary School; was a second-, fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Krout Elementary School; taught music to kindergarteners at Krout and Washington Elementary School; and mentored
food service students at Sentinel Career and Technology Center.
Boroff said he has enjoyed everything about being a substitute teacher and thinks it probably is the most enjoyable experience he has had. He said the experience has been rewarding.
"I can really relate to the kids, I think. ... I'm not
just baby-sitting them," he said.
Boroff said he believes in making students work, and he and the students go through regular class work. He said he can give them perspective because he is 50 years older than them. In one class, he shared how he remembered Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.
He said they looked at him like, "Wow, you're really old."
Boroff said he never had a problem supporting schools. Being a substitute teacher, he said, gives a person great perspective about how much teachers care about children. It is amazing what they do and what they have to go through, he said.
Boroff said he doesn't think he had worked a harder day in his life.
"They're sharp as tacks," he said about the students.
He said his approach is to talk to students instead of down to them.
"You learn more from (them) by listening," he said.
Boroff said many students in fourth grade and fifth
grade remember he served as mayor.
He said he enjoyed his service with the city and people and misses the people he worked with tremendously. However, he said he finally has time to himself. As mayor, he said, he always felt he had to be on top on everything and didn't realize how tiring that was.
"I would never go back. ... I am very happy," he said.