Teacher Feature, Meet The Teacher

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Going to school for most of your life, you will encounter many teachers, who all have different experiences which make them the teachers they are today. Grading papers and planning lessons over unpaid weekends and staying before and after school to help hard working students is the life of a teacher. They teach for a reason, and to be a good teacher, you have to love to teach.

“What I love about Spanish is that I can take a kid in a matter of one year who knows absolutely nothing, and by the end of a very short time period – you know just nine months – they can speak some Spanish; they can read, they can write,” Spanish, Creative Writing, and Journalism teacher Mrs. Celeste Zachry said. “Where as in English class, you might see some improvement with some students, but you might not. They might come to you as really good writers, so you don’t always get the opportunity to see great improvement. In Spanish, you see great improvement in the ones that care.”

While working in a school, you gain many special memories and the students make the job more enjoyable. 

“I like coming in and opening people’s minds up with new stuff that they never even knew or thought about, the interactions we have make all the hours in teaching worthwhile,” history teacher Mr. Grant said.

Mr. Grant’s favorite memory in teaching is when students actually get it, or have that ‘aha moment’.  Many  other teachers feel the same way.

“That moment when the kid gets it, the moment the kid goes from ‘I do not know what you are talking about Mr.King,’ to ‘Mr. King why is this so simple to me.'” Engineering and science teacher Mr. King said.  “That moment when all those pieces that aren’t making sense do come together, or even when the kid is like ‘Mr. King thank you.’ I live for those moments.” “The ‘thank you’ moment means I’ve done something right.”

Working hard to make students learn efficiently, teachers create expectations they deem acceptable for their students.

Grant expects his students to, “come out of [high school] with greater knowledge and greater study skills than what they came in with.”

As all people are different and have different expectations for life, teachers also have a variety of expectations for their classrooms.  Mr. King hopes his students are honest with him.

“I expect them to work; I expect them to try,” King said. “My thing is if you try,  I will do everything I can to help you. If you do nothing, I have no reason to help you because if you are not willing to help yourself why should I help you?” 

Every teacher has different teaching styles and things they appreciate. English teacher Dr. Nichols enjoys students with enthusiasm.

“My highlight is 8:25 when class begins,” Nichols said. “I thoroughly enjoy being a teacher.” 

All teachers have a variety of students in their class that all have different working methods and learning styles. Within a hectic classroom, each teacher must learn to endure all types of students, no matter how crazy it gets.

“Students make teaching worthwhile,” Spanish teacher Mrs. Jobe said. “I like to be with my students. Sometimes they drive me nuts, sometimes it is very overwhelming, but part of teaching is my students. When they all leave at the end of the day, it’s like the joy is gone; it’s not fun anymore, the fun part is being with the students. I talk to high school students everywhere I go.”

Teachers don’t just obtain their certification and then suddenly stop learning.  It’s a lifelong process of learning for each of them.

“Teaching is a long process, and you are always learning,” King said, “I love the interactions with kids. I like to see them grow, much like what I was doing before I used to be a farmer; farming is just like teaching in the sense that you’re not looking for the most immediate results. You nourish it, you give it what it needs and it grows; it grows into this crop that provides and is able to share that knowledge. Teaching is the same way. I have seedlings; I give them knowledge, I give them the right environment to learn and grow. In this field I get to see the works of my labors at the end of the year.”

Education is the way to success, and respect is more than needed for a functional classroom. This is actually an imperative part of any working environment.

“The one thing I do not like is when [students] tear up my room,” King said.  “I do not like that; I think it is disrespectful. I hate when I’m in the middle of a lesson, and they’re talking about something else or on Snap Chat. There’s a time and place for that. When you’re trying to learn, it’s not about ‘What did Charlie put on his Snap Chat?’ That’s not why we are here.”

Teachers who do their job well are here for their students and it shows.  It is evident to students, parents and administrators because it shows in their passion in the classroom but also in the way they treat their students.

“I will be honest with you,” Zachry said. “This year has been one of the most difficult for me and not just because my husband passed away.  The majority of my classes are sophomores and they are rough this year; they tell me to my face they don’t care, they throw things across the room and occasionally at me. They curse worse than than sailors at all times, but there are always my amazing students who make that torture worthwhile.  The notes from students that say ‘You are the reason I am graduating’ and ‘You’re the reason I come to school,’ the occasional visit from a senior, my journalism class and my writing class – these are the reasons I teach. I teach from the heart because it’s my calling.”

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