Let’s begin

A look into a first year teacher’s experience  


Photo by Peyton Sims

English teacher Jordan High poses in her new classroom. High began her teaching career this August alongside being a Radio DJ, dance teacher, an author and a mother.

Story by Zoe Rushing, staff writer

A teacher waits anxiously for the school bell to announce the beginning of the new day. Minutes race by as she finishes the final preparations for her classroom. As she finishes preparing, the bell rings through the halls as students dash toward their classrooms.

Most students remember their first year in a new school. However, the stories we don’t hear are of the teacher’s first years: how they handled such a new terrain and how they got through the hardships that accompanied it. 

English teacher Jordan High is experiencing her first year at Texas High and all of the accomplishments and downfalls that go along with it. Regardless of the challenges High may face with this position, she is ready for her new adventure. 

“[Every student here] picks a word that they want to be their theme word this year,” High said. “The one I chose was adventure, because everything is an adventure from here on out.”

Adventures, while thrilling, can have a rough start, and this one is no exception. Her first day went with ease, but even it started out with anxiety and restlessness.

“I was nervous,” High said. “I was like, ‘What did I get myself into?’ When the first bell rang, it terrified me. I was like, ‘I don’t know what to [do], I don’t know what to think about, I don’t know what’s gonna happen.’ It’s the unknown,” High said.

Nervousness was prevalent on her first day, but excitement remained as well. First period, she was ready to meet her students but was met with an unexpected surprise instead. 

“I had this PowerPoint up on the first day. I had my bitmojis,” High said. “Everything was decorated here. I had a full plan of what I was gonna do [as] soon as the students walked in, and I had no one. Everybody was remote. So instead, I had to scratch my plan.”

This didn’t stop her from achieving her goals of connecting with students and getting them to enjoy her class. Getting students interested, especially if it’s a teacher’s first time trying, can be a challenge.

“A moment that really stood out to me would have to be that [in] the first [in person] class I had, I had two boys,” High said. “Those two guys did not want to engage. They didn’t want to be here. You could see it on their faces. One said, ‘I don’t like English. This is my worst class.’”

An immediate negative response from her students didn’t stop her from attempting to get them motivated and interested in the subject.

“We actually got to [do] a fun activity,“ High said. “It was our project, but also like a letter to yourself. They actually enjoyed it. Then, they were like, ‘Okay, maybe this is not so bad.’ I had a really fun PowerPoint lesson that I had taught, and they were like, ‘Okay, I get this, this is cool.’ Seeing them turn around and be able to change [their previous mindset] into something positive was really fun.”

Being able to connect with students and get them to have a desire for learning is a big goal of High’s. She will continue to push forward to earn this achievement even if it isn’t always easy.

“For a teacher to be able to wiggle their way into a child’s mind enough for them to actually listen, pay attention and absorb the information [is] incredible,” High said. “Yes, it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard, but every now and then the light at the end of the tunnel happens and makes all the difference.”