New Teachers

Katherine Boston, Reporter

Whether you have been teaching for four years or forty, this school year did not fail to bring on many challenges for our teachers. Third year teacher Paige Lankford knows a thing or two about being the new kid on the block saying, “Reg

ards to content and lessons I feel like I was prepared but then if you’re asking in regards to schedules and COVID things, no. I don’t think so.” Second year teacher Maddie Ogle who is already having to teach all newclasses this year stated, “We had two weeks to prepare for school but we felt like we couldn’t prepare since things kept changing.”
They both agreed that the hardest thing for them has been the change with in-person teaching and teaching virtually. Luckily they have been able to find different outlets to keep them both busy as coaching volleyball (Ogle) and Cross Country (Lankford). Ogle shares how, “The greatest thing for virtual was having volleyball practice….I got to see my girls.” If one thing is for sure, they love having their kids back.
Lankford expressed how her class in the past has been very interactive with lots of games which now isn’t really a possibility. Ogle feels a bit more comfortable this year in her second year teaching since that first year anxiety is gone.
Ogle and Lankford were very passionate about wanting their kids to know, “We love you so much and we are always here for you.” Some advice that they shared was to focus on the positives, finding an outlet, and to keep moving forward. Another thing is just to do the best that you can and take care of yourself.
Coach Scott Wright is not new to teaching going on forty years. As for feeling prepared he shared, “Yes, as prepared as can be expected given the challenges the pandemic has brought to all of us.” He says that the hardest change from previous years was just the unknown and not being able to interact in a “normal” way with the students. Wright, like other teachers, misses seeing his students. He misses watching them take on challenges and failures. One thing he shared was, “I do think we have all pulled together and made the very best of this. That’s what educators do.”
First year ELA teacher Alaina Thomsen has taken on the challenges of being a new teacher as best as she can. She has jumped right in but still feels the same anxious feelings as everyone else, “I am good! I really love my job already and I love working with students. Definitely feel overwhelmed at times, but then again….who doesn’t right now?” Thomsen was able to student teach here last semester which led her to be a perfect fit for the job. The transition wasn’t too crazy since she was accustomed to the BVW atmosphere. She is still discovering new areas, but knows her way around the building pretty well.
She is so thankful for the English department saying, “Student teaching gave me the wonderful opportunity to already know the ELA staff! I am so thankful I get to continue to work with the best staff possible. I still have many staff members that I haven’t met and need/want to get to know, but I know that will come with time.” When asked if there was anything we could do to help she said to simply introduce yourself. Thomsen loves meeting more people at BV West. It’s hard to meet everyone herself, but she loves when students and staff introduce themselves to her. She also asks for a bit of grace since this is her first year being a teacher. She added , “I will definitely mess up here and there and I will ask many (MANY) questions, so really I just need some grace.”
Thomsen has embraced our community here at BV West she said, “I would say that the BVW community is truly a family. I have felt loved and supported every step of the way. I feel like a family member, not just an employee. BVW cares about you as a person first, then a student or a staff member. I am lucky to be in a community that values growth and support for one another.”
Rachel Quezada who is also a new to BV West feels the same as Thomsen with how BV West is a family. She stated how, “I only teach seniors, and I’ve actually commented this to a couple of my seniors that it seems like the senior class is so friendly towards each other.” She feels how in a very unique way she has been able to ease into teaching with virtual to hybrid. She was here during orientation at the beginning of the school year and got to know people around the building.