The following testimonials were taken from year-end evaluations of Mr. Beeken and his class over the last 7 years. The names have been removed to protect the anonymity of the innocent.
In my opinion, Beeken’s teaching style is wonderful because he is able to open the students up to the class. Because he focuses on networking so much, he pushes the students to be more outgoing which is a leadership skill. Also, he can keep this visage that makes him seem like an intimidating person that makes you want to work, but is able to shift this image at any time. It’s sort of weird, but it makes the students accomplish more than they thought they could while keeping a bond with him. Also, he knows how to make students feel good about themselves or push them into being a better student. I think it’s great that Beeken maintains this strong bond with students because when class turns into a work environment, it made me feel like I couldn’t let him or myself down. Class of 2010
Beeken’s teaching style is unique but works. People might not like Beeken’s class but students can learn a lot. When I took the state test, I felt prepared because of the many quizzes Beeken gave and lectures. Class of 2010
I never really did many of the assignments in Mr. Beeken’s class but I can honestly say I learned a lot more in this class than in any other history class I’ve ever taken. Good teacher. Good class. Class of 2010
Beeken is one of the best teachers here at WCHS. His class presents a real challenge, but it is up to the student whether they are willing to learn or not—or if they are determined, they will do well. He is an excellent teacher—his lectures are informative and get to the point, but the thing that sets his lectures apart from others is the sprinkled humor that captures the students’ attention. He knows the subject inside and out---he speaks extemporaneously without the aid of boring PowerPoint's like other teachers do. Beeken really cares about his students and he is always there if you need to talk. Whether you excel at the subject or not, there is so much more that you can gain from his class. He fosters a positive environment where students succeed, though not necessarily academically. Class of 2010
I’m exceptionally glad I did not take World History last summer. His class made an amazingly large impact on me. I do not know too many teachers who put the same type of effort that Mr. Beeken puts in his job as a teacher. By this, I mean to say that Beeken should not change his ways. He acts professionally, but is fun and interesting as well. I never found History very interesting until I set foot in his class and heard his lectures. Class of 2010.
Mr. Beeken’s teaching style is truly a unique one. It tests the students in a way that cannot be measured by any scan-tron or worksheet. You can’t even prepare for this test. His test is something that plants a seed in you the first time you meet him, and it slowly grows and develops if you choose to embrace his teaching style with a positive attitude. In the end, it turns you into a better student academically but also a better person altogether. In Beeken’s class, you don’t just learn about history as if you were there, you also learn about yourself and that seed that is inside of you plants its roots and you get the tools to live out your life with the confidence to do anything. Class of 2009
Entering Mr. Beeken’s class was the best decision I have ever made. I began to enjoy people, trust in them, and learned to share more of myself with others. I really don’t know what it is about …that type of environment, but I came to see how truly wonderful people were. Class of 2009
In Mr. Beeken’s class, I learned more than just to do the work. I learned to do the work right…to devote myself entirely to whatever it is I do, be it notes or an essay. I learned to do extra and be comfortable with disappointment, especially after receiving a low grade on a test I thought I surely aced, and to establish connections with others outside my comfortable social circle. I learned that I was a pretty good leader and became more confident. The meaning of teaching and leading by example became more important, and I realized I discovered a more stable me. In the midst of all the pressure, I had found that I could handle being pushed to my limits. I could handle it , and it felt nice. It made me want to be challenged more, and it made me have more faith in what I could accomplish. Class of 2009
Throughout the school year, I looked forward to coming to this class almost every day. I have never had a more enthusiastic teacher. Beeken keeps the material interesting, has the most fascinating classroom I have ever seen and teaches students more networking skills than any other experience I have ever had. It has been a true pleasure being in this class. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning the subject and learning about themselves and how much achievement they are really capable of. I will miss this class next year, even if it has been stressful with the large amount of work. It was absolutely worth it. Class of 2009
Mr. Beeken’s classes were probably the most challenging courses I took at West Covina High School and I especially enjoyed AP Human Geography because it gave me the opportunity to be a mentor for a great group of Freshmen. This class gives Freshmen the opportunity to enter the AP world right from the get go, as they begin to form bonds with upperclassmen who will help guide them on the right path. The material covered in class in extremely interesting, as it applies to current issues and improves the students” knowledge of their environment! The GIS labs were extremely challenging and frustrating, but they were an integral part of the class. It serves as a great introduction to the AP World History class because AP Human Geography relates to various other courses offered at WCHS. This is a program that I hope will continue to grow in future years. Class of 2008
Mr. Beeken’s system as a teacher has been tried and tested and, to some degree, works every school year. I like the fact that he places responsibility on his students, treats them as equals (whatever that entails), brings life to the subject matter, and doesn’t take “no” for an answer, especially when students are saying “no” to themselves. I personally think that having Mr. Beeken as a teacher is really the best thing a student can do in this school to really take their academic careers to an entirely different level. Class of 2008
Even though at times throughout the year I sometimes said I regret taking this course, looking back at it all now, I am really glad that I actually took it. Even though at first, Beeken may come off as an overbearing conceited man, it is just an act he puts on to better teach us how to deal with different struggles in life. Some people on this campus believe that his classes are overrated but I strongly disagree with that statement. Beeken’s classes are not only a place where one merely learns about academic subjects, but also a place where one can learn to deal with the many obstacles that life may present you with. Sometimes I wish he could teach all subjects. Class of 2008.
Overall, Mr. Beeken has taught me a lot about communicating and networking with my peers. When I first entered the class, I didn’t expect to become so close to my classmates. But he instilled in me the capability to not only test my limits and challenge me my sophomore year, but to enable me to befriend people from so many diverse cliques in the school for one purpose…to survive this class. I want to refrain from saying the typical, generic Beekenite statement “Oh, this is the greatest class you’ll ever take,” but it really is. To be honest, this class hasn’t brought me infinite wisdom, but I’ve learned to open up and express myself with other people, which has been the one defining lesson I’ve learned this year. Class of 2008
Regardless of doing anything in this class, there is a lot a student can learn. Not only does one gain knowledge of “world history,” but Mr. Beeken associates his styles of teaching with the personal growth of each student. Taking this class is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience as Mr. Beeken exceeds all limits and pushes each and every student past their capabilities into doing wonders. Not only can he help you when it comes to learning, he builds a personal relationship/bond with each student providing a truly unique experience. Class of 2008
Mr. Beeken is truly one of a kind. Often times extremely frustrating, in the end no one can walk away from the class without having gained something or grown as a person. He is the teacher students love to hate, without question, but he does mold minds better than any teacher here, and I commend him for that. My parents still swear that my sister won’t have him, but with my probing, he can expect her in four years. Class of 2007
Mr. Beeken teaches you a lot about life as well as history. He makes you see your weaknesses and improve them. You learn a lot about yourself as you push yourself to the limit to succeed. Class of 2007
Beeken is a very evil, evil man! You’ll lose sleep in his class, probably cry like a lot of guys did and regret that you ever took the class. Your life will revolve around him and his teachings, and you and your classmates will find yourselves talking about “the old man” and his “impossible” standards in every class and annoy your teachers to death by sacrificing their classes for his! …But for the majority of people, you’ll realize no teacher will ever push you that hard because most don’t think you can handle it…and most teachers wouldn’t treat you like an equal like he does…or make the class fun by making jokes when appropriate, and have you and himself laughing until your face is red and tears are coming down. No one will stress networking half as much as he does, so even if you don’t read a single chapter in his class and don’t learn any details, you will have developed skills that will prove FAR more beneficial to you in the future. He’s unlike any other teacher you’ll encounter in high school, so those who aren’t ignorant and “point-mongers” will appreciate him. The only scary thing is, though, being in Beeken’s class is a world of its own….you’ll change a lot during the process….most likely for the better even if that’s not shown in your meaningless grade reports. Class of 2006
What a teacher, like no other. He has split personalities, and it is hard to tell when it is the right time to talk to him and how. But I soon learned from fellow students. He is a great teachers, it’s just sophomores like me who needed the experience to learn to manage my time, and do my best even if things did get rough. But I didn’t give up though I kept struggling all year and I made it through! I would recommend his class to friends. Even though he many seem mean, doesn’t care for excuses, and is a hard teacher, he cares and prepares you for the future. It may have been hard this year but wait till I get to college. I will never forget his class. Thanks Beeken. Class of 2005
As the year started, I quickly realized that he was different than most other teachers. Most other teachers would give you homework and if you did it that you would pass. Also kissing up never really hurt either…..not in Mr. Beeken’s class….it was all about quality not quantity. Everything was either his way or no way. At first it was a little hard for me to adapt to this type of teaching style, but as the year went on I quickly caught on. In Mr. Beeken’s class you not only learned things about world cultures, but you learned things that would help you in life as well. In his class you had choice but to be respectful, responsible and willing to learn. No matter how much you hated his class you were going to learn something whether you wanted to or not. For me, personally, Mr. Beeken showed me that life was not always about me. That there is a whole world out there to be discovered: To go out and take chances on life; you’ll never know if you like something until you try it. His class was extremely hard and stressful. Mr. Beeken is a crazy perfectionist, but the man definitely knows his stuff. After a full year in Mr. Beeken’s class, I can honestly say that I learned more in his class than I did in most of my other classes combined. I worked my heart out and I eventually got a B both semesters in his class. I learned to love his class and the idea that life is only what you make of it. Class of 2003
Mr. Beeken has a love-hate relationship with his students. He loves teaching, I think mainly so he can hear himself speak, and most of his students hate him. Though it takes a long time to show it, he really cares about every single student enrolled in his classes. He will make time to help and talk to any of his students about personal or school matters. Which leads into another quality I admire, he has “students”.
Not children or kids, but students…people who are almost equal to him and not to be looked down upon. The quality that has most influenced me though is his support in the power of the student. He has the strongest democratic values and is perhaps the only teacher on campus who correctly grades students’ citizenship. If you speak and openly participate in class activities, you receive the highest of marks because the point of public schooling is to teach students citizenship, which involves oral participation. Every single other teacher I have ever had gives the highest citizenship grades to students who keep their mouths shut the whole semester. Class of 2003
Even though Beeken is a type of person that makes students want to smack him occasionally, his enthusiasm for teaching, bold innovative ideas, one-in-a-million personality, eerie interests, old-fashioned background, artistic perspectives, desire to make this class/school better, devotion to his own principles and appreciation for a culturally diverse campus make him a teacher that any school would want more of.
Class of 2003
Mr. Beeken was really intimidating the first time I met him. As the year went by, he wasn’t so bad after all. Once you get used to his intimidation, the class is a breeze. I got into the habit of putting Beeken’s homework before all other work. I made it my top priority. We did get a lot of work in this class, but it adds to the whole learning experience. I feel like I’ve achieved something after each homework assignment. Class of 2003
I don’t regret taking this class at all. I have done a lot of changing this year and this class helped a lot. Mr. Beeken really encouraged me to “think out of the box” and I learned to look at the world differently. All the work was more than worth it. I readily say that this was my favorite class. The things I learned in this class I will carry with me the rest of my life. I complained about the work, but I know it was good for me. His lectures were never boring and I got so much out of them. I like how he always wrapped things up and had a point, and usually a deeper meaning to whatever he said. My whole way of thinking has been completely altered by my taking this class, and for the better. One of my favorite things about this class was that Mr. Beeken was always able to tie who each of us is in with world cultures. Class of 2002
In my opinion, Mr. Beeken did an exceptional job of teaching his classes this year. Even though I did not do the majority of the work like I was supposed to do, it gives me great satisfaction to know that I can walk out of class each time and say that I learned something that will enable me to work with real world issues. Class of 2002
I am glad I took this class and didn’t drop it. For other Sophomores who will be in his class next year, I would say do all the work, take good notes, study hard and talk to Mr. Beeken whenever he asks you something… and if you don’t he will wait and every one will be staring at you until you do. Mr. Beeken’s class was sometimes fun and most of the time very interesting. I wouldn’t want him to change his class for anything. I hope all the other kids go through all the pain I did in his class. Overall he is one of the best teachers here at WCHS and I had a great year being in his class and hearing him say “Oh well!” Class of 2001