Students: Good luck Mr. Hofstetter! ¡Sí, se puede! Woo!
My name is Justin Hofstetter. I teach at Alta Vista Charter Middle School in Kansas City. I teach sixth grade language arts and social studies and seventh grade social studies.
What made you choose teaching as a career?
I was in a career that I was really dissatisfied with, and my parents had been lifelong teachers, and they've always been an inspiration to me, so I looked at how great they were in their careers, and decided that was the career I wanted to pursue.
What's the most rewarding aspect of being a teacher?
Most rewarding aspect of being a teacher is definitely seeing just the excitement on my kids' faces when we're reading a book that they're really enjoying, or seeing them come to question with so many--come to class with so many questions that I can't get through my--get through my lesson, because they're so curious about the thing that we're studying.
Did your students help you prepare for the show?
I actually had a student that came in and he brought me questions from a previous day's episode, and I was really proud of that, because that was one of my lower learners that hadn't been doing so well, but just the fact that he was watching the show to help me out was a real inspiration for me.
Tune in! You might learn a thing or two!
How does it feel to advance to the semifinals?
Oh, to advance to the semifinals is a dream come true. I've been watching Jeopardy! since I was five years old, and I've always wanted to be on this stage and coming back for another day.
How did you prepare for the Teachers Tournament?
I studied every past episode of Jeopardy! I could find, my students were bringing me in questions every day, and I, of course, got out the, uh, PlayStation game, watched every single episode as they were on TV... I stopped tutoring after school so I could watch Jeopardy! and prepare for this tournament.
Any messages for your students?
Alta Vista, I just wanna make--I want to make you guys as proud as I am to be your teacher. So I'm out here for you guys, to make you guys proud of me, as proud as I am of you.
What did you think about the competition?
Oh, these are some of the greatest friends people have ever met, and I'm just looking forward to comp--to great competition. I know that it's going to be pretty fierce from here on out, but, y'know, hopefully I'll come home with the big prize.
How does it feel to be headed to the finals?
Oh, my gosh, being a finalist in the Teachers Tournament is just a dream come true. I... y'know, when you get invited to these things, you always hope for this, but when it actually happens, it's just so surreal.
Did you notice a change in intensity going into the semifinals?
Oh, most definitely. There were so many times that I just couldn't get in at all, and I know those ladies were stiff competition. I was really, really worried toward--going towards Final Jeopardy! Didn't think I was going to do as well as I did.
Were you trying to play big in order to get into the finals?
I was definitely trying to play big. Uh, at the end of Double Jeopardy!, uh, I went with the $1,600 clue on that last category just, like, so I could try to get that Daily Double, but I missed it. I missed the question. So...
Was there a moment that you thought you had the game in the bag?
The only time that I realized I had the game in the bag was when, uh, they revealed that the Final Jeopardy! answer was, um, Judas, and then I--then I finally was able to relax, and say "Okay, thank God, 'cause I am going to the 2-day championship."
Do you have some thoughts about who else might be in the finals?
I have some ideas. Uh, there's another Mizzou guy in the tournament, and I know for a fact that Mizzou is representin' here. Uh, we had the Sheryl Crow question, and I was really happy that, uh, Mizzou is really showin' up on Jeopardy! today.