New GHC teachers have an exciting journey ahead of them

By Nasheetah Hossain

New Teachers
New teachers: Laura Winters (Math), Katie Vincent (Choir), Kyle Martindale (English) Photo by Bianca Ruiz / The Plaid Press

Imagine walking into a new classroom, full of new faces and in a completely foreign system. You had a nightmare last night in which you came into class to teach and then lost your speech. Pretty haunting, isn’t it? That’s what it’s like being a new teacher.

This year, Granada Hills (GHC) hired several new teachers, diverse across different departments.  These include math, English, choir and orchestra in the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) department.

Many teachers choose GHC because of its outstanding reputation of a comfortable work environment and the determination of the students.

“I heard that it has excellent students and has a great organization. I was looking at different schools to apply to and I read about the GHI program and it really resonated with my values and interests,” English teacher Kyle Martindale said.

Overall, GHC students are known to be responsible and hard-working, as well as kind and hospitable. They are very accepting of each other and respectful to their teachers.

“The kids (at GHC) have  a really strong work ethic, which is different than other schools. The school policies and rules are better enforced and it holds students accountable and makes them work harder,” new Choir coach, Kate Vincent said.

“Granada has a really strong academic culture in which students value their educational process and what happens in the classrooms.”Martindale said.

“The students seem to be polite and respectful and everyone is trying hard in school. There are  very few kids goofing around. Everyone is preparing for college and such and the staff is nice and always planning on how to get the students ahead.” Winters said.

When adjusting to a new campus, one of the most crucial aspects of finding your own authentic space  is setting up a classroom. Teachers have to think about what to do with the space, how to ensure that the workspace is organized and effective, and how to make the rest of the classroom welcoming and comfortable.

“You always have to find a new organizational system that works well with the new class and space. Ordering the new school supplies and figuring out how to do everything is also a major part. It’s also a lot of work figuring out how the technology works.” said Vincent.

Last but not least, in preparing for the school year, the teachers have to decide what goes into the curriculum. They have to consider the fundamental topics that they have to cover, but must also decide what they want to teach or how they want to teach it.

“I look at skills students need to learn, texts, and what would be engaging.I think about what students like but also what I like because if I’m not energetic or enthusiastic about the text then it’s hard to imagine students having enthusiasm to learn it.” Martindale said.

Fitting into a new system is so much easier when you have help from veteran teachers. I mean, think about it. How many of us have joined a class days after it had already started? Doesn’t it feel wonderful to have your peers introduce themselves and help figure things out? Teachers feel the same.

“I don’t tend to see them(veteran teachers) too much, teaching is kind of isolating. But Mr.Eric, the department chair and the coach have been very helpful.” Winters said.

The new teachers of GHC have an exciting new journey ahead of them. For them, this will be a year full of thrilling encounters, bustling and hard-working students, and a very enjoyable start at GHC.

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