ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Spend some in Christopher Doi's sixth grade language arts classroom at Hawfields Middle School and there is no doubt teaching comes natural to him.
But he didn't get into the field in the typical fashion.
He was in sales and marketing and traveling each week. Then came the birth of his first child which he says changed everything for him.
That's when he says he knew he was meant to be a teacher.
"That whole paradigm got flipped on its head for me when I had my first daughter," Doi said. "And it was like if time is money, then its just as valuable as money so why aren't I spending my time the way I really want to spend it? Why aren't I doing the thing that I love?"
His students see the happiness teaching gives him and they feed off of it.
They say he makes learning fun and is fair when it comes to assignments.
"He really lets you work at your own pace and normally he doesn't really get too mad about if you are falling behind," said Zeke, one of his students. "He'll help you."
That's because he believes in failing forward, learning from mistakes, one of the most important lessons he says he can teach his kids.