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Q&A with Grace Olvera

English teacher makes debut at Texas High
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Lyric Curtis
English teacher Grace Olvera sits at her desk on Sep. 21, 2023. This year is Olvera’s first year teaching at Texas High.

What motivated you to start teaching?

  • Okay so honestly I think the biggest motivator for me was probably my nieces and nephews. I have 25 of them ranging in age from two to thirty. I have really good relationships with a lot of them and it really got me to thinking about all the struggles that young people go through because there’s a wide range there. There’s drug addiction, and some of them have overcome in things that seemed insurmountable, and so what it did was really make me think I want to be amongst kid this age around teenagers and stuff like that because I just really click with them and I’d feel like it’s where I can do the most good.

What motivated you to come teach at Texas High? 

  • At Texas High, it’s funny because I think several years ago I might have been intimidated by this big of a school, but I got to co-teach with Mrs. Mooneyham and she really got me comfortable here and I just fell in love with it while I was co-teaching here. 

What have you enjoyed about our school so far?

  • I think what I’ve enjoyed about the school so far the most is the students and I know that sounds like a generic answer but honestly getting to know them has been so much fun. I also really like that I feel really supported and so that’s been really nice too. 

Why did you decide to teach English? 

  • Honestly reading and writing has such a profound impact upon my life. I feel like I kind of grew up in a bubble, a very small bubble, and if it were not for reading I think that I would have not had many of the ideas that I did now and so I feel like words are so powerful and they had such a big impact on my life that I want students I guess to be able to express themselves and to be able to learn about other ideas outside of maybe their worlds too.

What are your passions outside of teaching? 

  • So my passions, and I would say, they can be pretty broad but children in general just the well being is something I’m very passionate about. As well as being a teacher I’m also a CASA, which is basically a court appointed court specialist, which is basically where we kind of volunteer in the foster care system. And the reason I do that, the reason I teach is because I think children are the future, and I also feel like, I’m very passionate about meeting people where they are.In other words, I feel like I want to not think so much about where all my students should be as of where they actually are and helping them to grow from there, because that’s always what I needed too. We all have different minds, we all have different situations and I don’t ever want to take for granted, I guess where I think people should be. I just want to be there for them where they are. 

What is your teaching philosophy?

  • My teaching philosophy, and I tell my students, day one, if you come into my class, and work hard, then you’re going to do well. And I really feel like one of the biggest things that I bring to the table as a teacher is patience for students, and for recognizing, like I said in one of the previous questions, that we are all in different places and our brains all work differently. And so I really feel like giving them different ways to answer a question or something like that so that my expectation is not that I can just ask a question and every student in there should be able to write a paragraph about it, I need to vary it, I need to be going table to table and be asking if it makes sense, and drewording it it doesn’t. And giving people the opportunity to orally tell me or draw or whatever I can do to really help people to grow, to help my students to move from the point they are at to the next point. Like I said rather than them thinking as a whole class, we should be right here. Because I guess, I guess my philosophy would come down to we are all in a class together, but we are all individuals. 

What are your teaching goals for this year? 

  • My teaching goals for this year are to really get to know my students and build relationships with my students, And to make sure that I’m not letting the pressures of being a new teacher and the goals as in the things that we need to get done affect my relationship with the students. 

What is the greatest challenge facing teachers today?

  •  I think the greatest challenge facing teachers today is basically what I just said I think there’s a lot of pressure and I’m not saying that I think that testing is a bad thing, but I think that there’s a lot of pressure in testing and a lot of pressure making sure everyone is on the same page. We also need to be able to meet our students where they are, and so I think that that’s the biggest challenge is finding that balance between the two. 

Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?

  • In five to ten years I hope that I am still teaching, honestly I would love to still be teaching here. And I hope that I have grown as much as hopefully my students will in my teaching practices and hopefully by then I’ll just be more and more comfortable in that role so that I can bring that balance that I just mentioned in the last question. I have three kids so at that point my kids will be getting a lot older so personally, personal goals would just be to also continue to be a patient mother, and to be there for my children as they grow into high school and beyond. But as far as career, I don’t have aspirations of moving past being an English high school teacher because that’s really where I want to be, because I want to be with those kids.

 

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About the Contributors
Riley Roberts
Riley Roberts, Staff Writer
Sophomore Riley Roberts is a first-year Tiger Times Newspaper staff member. Her grades are very important to her especially since she is an all A student, but what she finds more important than that is finding time to spend with family. Roberts loves to travel and hangout with her dog, a pembroke-welsh corgi, who she is absolutely obsessed with. She is also involved in sports medicine, which she may wish to pursue a career in. Roberts will continue to aim for greatness throughout her years of high school.
Lyric Curtis
Lyric Curtis, Visual Journalist/Staff Writer
Senior Lyric Curtis is a first year staff writer in THS Publications. She is also a first year photographer for the publications team. Curtis is a member of the varsity softball team at THS and has actively participated in Leader In Me for 4 years. She enjoys taking photos, hanging out with friends, laughing at any and everything and listening to her all-time favorite artist, Frank Ocean. Curtis hopes to pursue a career in dental hygiene and attend college at Texas A&M University at College Station. She wants everyone to feel heard and accepted because life is tough!

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