American Literature teacher, Robert Selna, calls himself the most “boring man on campus,” yet is this personal claim fact or fiction?


Makayla Bell, Staff Writer

STOCKTON: On the very first day of school, just like every year before, American Literature teacher, Robert Selna, informs his students that his class will most likely be one of the most boring classes that they ever take. Why? Because Mr. Selna considers himself to be one of the most boring teachers to ever step foot into a classroom. After conducting this 90 minute interview, I found Mr. Selna to be anything but boring. In fact, his personal story has many interesting life experiences that the Trojan student body should know about.

First and foremost, Mr. Selna is a family man. He and his high school sweetheart, Monica, whom he married in 1995, have been married for 27 years. The couple decided to both become teachers. As Mr. Selna likes to say, “She followed me around.” After high school graduation, the couple began their collegiate careers together at Delta Community College. After two successful years on campus, the couple transferred to Fresno State University to wrap up their college careers. It was during his college years that Mr. Selna discovered his love for literature. They are the proud parents of two daughters (Claire,19 and Brigit,17), a son (Cal, 21), and Bodie, their happy dog. Currently, they are preparing to be empty-nesters because their daughter is in her final semester as a senior at Lodi High School. One daughter currently attends Cal State Monterey Bay and his son attends Fresno State respectively. Selna describes his family as being one of his biggest life motivators by stating, “I see one of my biggest roles as a husband and father is to provide for my family. It is my job to support them.” When it comes to the history of his career, Selna’s teaching career began in 1994 as a resource specialist at Buchanan High School in Clovis. He taught at Buchanan for three years before moving on to Saint Mary’s High School where he taught English for 21 years. Selna joined the Lincoln family in 2019 because, “It truly was time for me to experience a new teaching environment.”

Yet, that still leaves the simple question. What actually makes Mr. Selna so boring? The answer to this question is a rather simple one. Selna does not possess a game-show host type of personality. It is Mr. Selna’s wish to have the curriculum do all of the entertaining for him. He explains, “I look at my personality, and I look at other teachers’ personalities and they exude a ton of energy, and I just try to teach students the material without getting into the hoopla of it.” He continued, “Some of my students find my voice to be pretty generic, therefore, I’ve had to prepare my students that my class will not feel like a skit on Saturday Night Live.”

Mr. Selna revealed to me that he picks his course material for the year based on what his students seem to be the most interested in. This year that means stories such as The Crucible or The Raven have been studied in class. Mr. Selna doesn’t give tests or assignments that are overly complicated because he believes that students shouldn’t feel tricked. He says, “It’s my job to teach the material so that a student can internalize it and then critique it.” And what does Mr. Selna do with his time outside of the classroom ? Well, he absolutely loves coaching baseball. Selna has coached baseball at almost every single level including high school, community college, and Division I. This summer he will be heading back to the Appalachian League (a collegiate summer league using wood bats) where 10 teams compete out of Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Selna also spends a lot of his time reading. He enjoys reading non-fiction and autobiographies specifically from Bill O’ Reilly. However, he also enjoys Robert Frost’s poetry, and he is a big fan of Charles Dickens. It’s definitely safe to say that he is a diverse reader. He believes that, “One of the greatest things about literature is that you can pick and choose what you want to read and what you’re really into.”

When an opportunity presents itself, I highly suggest that you stop by room 1403 to say, “Hello” to Mr. Selna. He is one of the most affable teachers at Lincoln High School, and you will be impressed with his positive mindset which really helps his students understand the curriculum.