The Secret Life of Mr. Filkins


Mr. Filkins in his pajamas for Monday’s commemoration of Rivalry Week.

Michael Casarez, Reporter/Photo Editor

Mr. Filkins is a math and AVID instructor at Selma High School. Although he is a teacher on the surface, he is able to connect with his many students through his life outside of the classroom.
“I’m a gamer. I like video games, I like card games, I like board games,” he said. His common interests allow him to have fun and wordy conversations with students, even those not enrolled in his courses.
“The main games that I play would be any of the Call of Duty series and of course Fortnite as well,” he mentioned. “I would have to say Call of Duty” he said in regards to his favorite video game. “I went fifty kills and zero deaths.” Mr. Filkins’ congenial personality also contributes to his popularity amongst the students of Selma High. This is exemplified by the symbolism of his door always being open, which invites many before school, during lunch and after school.
He also remembers his former club, which was popular before COVID-19 struck the County of Fresno and nearby districts, causing Selma Unified School District to switch to online learning.
“Pre-pandemic, I used to have a game club here, so we used to be able to play card games and the like.”
With an optimistic mindset, he went on to stress one of his major goals in life.
“One place that is on my bucket list is to visit Europe and all the World War II memorials,” Mr. Filkins added.
Unfortunately, he further explained his lack of sufficient time to do what he enjoys, which is relatable to numerous students who struggle to find free time during school weeks.
“I wish I had more time to travel during the summers, during vacation,” he said.
While time is limited, he finds ways to cope.
“The main thing I do while not working is taking care of my kids and going to soccer practice every single day,” he commented.
Unequivocally, his model is that of a true family man. While not answering texts on Remind or emails, he could be watching a soccer practice or cheering for his kids’ team.
However, this admirable act does not come without its struggles.
“You just have to prioritize. Work comes first, got to have a roof over my family’s head and when I have time with five kids and a grandbaby on the way, I just try to fit in that time.”
Rest assured, he does not think about math every part of the day, nor does he spend his evenings solving math problems. He’s not crazy.
“I think I would become a UPS driver, so that way I could wear shorts every single day,” he reasoned, since teachers are not able to wear specific types of clothing, depending on the circumstances. But Mr. Filkins honorably decorates his walls with mementos from past students, including a few recent ones, celebrating his 13th year at Selma High School. However, a common misconception is that he is a Selma High alumnus.
“Actually, I did not graduate from Selma High. I graduated from up north in a little town called Redding in 1995.” Despite this, he feels welcomed at Selma High, since a majority of his established connections with students and fellow faculty are positive and encouraging, and is admired by many.