Teacher Offers Extra Credit Through Neckties

Hannah Harris

Many teachers at East gracefully offer extra credit to their students because they recognize that school is hard. The coursework can be rigorous and maintaining good grades can seem impossible at times.

Biology and Genetics teacher Derek Chastain offers extra credit in his classes. However, these extra points are earned in a unique way.

In his 17 years of teaching, Chastain has received neckties as gifts from family, friends and students. An estimated 100 ties now fill his closet.

“I actually have these tie racks in my closet. One of them is motorized. I can hang all these ties on it and it goes around on a conveyor belt so you can pick up your ties,” Chastain said.

Although wearing ties to school is not necessarily atypical for male teachers, Chastain’s ties have a higher significance that goes beyond looking astute.

“I have this contest that I usually start the second quarter. If I repeat a tie and you catch it, you get a bonus point,” Chastain said. “The organization is important so I know when I’m wearing a repeat tie and when I’m not.”

Chastain will purposely repeat a tie so students can earn extra credit. The students will then individually inform Chastain of his repeated tie.

“They have to be discrete. I used to have them hand me a little note but now I just have them message me over email or through itslearning,” Chastain said. “If you’re the only one who catches it then you get more points so there’s an incentive to not just tell everybody else.”

Extra credit has never been so tie-riffic.