by Isai Carmona | Staff Writer

Freshmen and newcomers each witnessed this school year completely dissimilar from planned and or expected. Still, there remains not one but many others who experienced their school year from a different perspective.

American Sign Language Teacher Brett Koch, after being heavily influenced by his elementary, middle and high school teachers, decided now was the time for him to give back to the community that taught him.

“She put up with me and encouraged me to do my best and because of her I wanted to be a teacher,” Koch said. 

With eager readiness, Mr. Koch experienced inevitable ups and downs throughout the school year.

“It was interesting because I’m deaf and I’m trying to communicate with the students on zoom and it was challenging because it was hybrid and I’m trying to keep the class flow going,” Koch said.

With all this intact, Mr. Koch managed to adapt to the challenges he faced as a newly found teacher. 

“While it did kind of encourage the students to see something from a new perspective, everyone nowadays is digital so I had to figure out a way to work around those challenges,” Koch said. “The good news is that with all the technology the students can use YouTube and Edpuzzles: so that helped.”

Mr. Koch did learn one thing for sure out of the teaching experience.

“Now did this year go the way I wanted it to: not even close,” Koch said.

First year science teacher and swim team coach Sierra Stewart also quickly realized her love for students.

“I think this year has been a challenge but a good challenge,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t surprised since I also have two siblings who are currently in high school. I’m also a swim coach, so really high school students are nothing new.” 

Even with Hybrid teaching in the way, Ms. Stewart proactively seemed less than bothered throughout the year.

“I found it enjoyable that I can relate to the students, and that I’m back where I started in high school,” Stewart said. “Also being able to integrate the virtual students with the in-person students has been super fun this year.”

One thing Ms. Stewart found very interesting this year was the students’ resemblance to their school pictures.

“It has also been enjoyable in a way, since you get to see new students everyday,” Stewart said. “With some people you’ve looked at their ceiling fans for months and all of a sudden they’re in person. It’s also been very hard to recognize people, especially with masks, since their faces don’t match their skyward picture.”

After taking the negatives out of the picture, Stewart soon came to realize that her first year as a teacher was not too shabby.

“There wasn’t really anything I was not expecting, besides the pandemic, so I never thought I would be hybrid teaching but here we are and hopefully we will continue to use hybrid learning in order to keep students engaged.” Stewart said.

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About The Author

Coming from Amarillo, Isai Carmona is a senior and serves as the sports editor for MyJagNews. In his free time, Isai enjoys delving into the worlds of film, literature and philosophy.

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