Wandering around campus and going to classes this year, you might notice a few new faces. So stop by, say hello, make them feel welcome, and please try not to scare them. They can be skittish. And no, it’s not the freshmen I’m referring to; it’s the teachers.
The new teachers, to be precise. Ranging from Scotts Valley to out of state, the teachers have flooded in. Depending on how you count them, there are six to ten new teachers; besides that, there has been an influx of new staff in general. According to a student who would prefer to remain anonymous, “There are so many new teachers! I can’t even count them….I think there are, like, twelve of them?” In fact, this year marks the largest staff hiring at SLV in two decades. Why is this?
Part of the reason can be attributed to simple coincidence. Boom’s retirement, the establishment of new classes, and the removal of temporary teachers have all had a hand in the hiring. “The school needed to hire seven new teachers because several teachers retired.” , says Ms. Billings.The presence of the honorable Karen Van Putten might also be a reason. Van Putten, a newcomer from last year, is seeking to upgrade much of the school’s framework and streamline the teaching system. With Common CORE and block step teaching being instituted, new instructors are vital; their ideas will be welcome.
The establishment of new classes has made hiring many new teachers necessary. Digital Literacy, which some people called ‘the ghost class’ for the first few days of school, is one example of this. Led by Brett Sanderson, the class is focused on helping students learn how to properly use computers and computer programs, as well as teaching them how to conduct internet research. These are essential skills, without a doubt, and they will only become more important in the future as our world becomes increasingly technologically inclined.
The rest of the teachers hired teach more familiar subjects, from art to math to English. They all come prepared with their own ideas about how to best teach SLV’s youth. “I want to prepare kids for college,” says Martin Schafer, “but also inspire them to have a real love of learning.” This is the aim of every teacher, but their methods of accomplishing it vary. Doubtlessly, many policies that were in place before are being changed with the arrival of these instructors. Rules will be shifted about, schedules will be changed; everyone is trying to settle down into a comfortable position again, but it might be a long time before the cards come down.
There might be one other major factor in the equation that is not often thought of: freshmen. The truth is, the freshman class of this year is larger than it has been for the past four years, and the freshmen of next year will be in even greater numbers. This flood of students demands teachers to satisfy its educational hunger, like a voracious beast. Well….freshmen are more like piranhas, aren’t they? They’d strip your bones in under thirty seconds.
All joking aside, there are many reasons for the new faces at school this year. Perhaps the teachers heard about that legendary SLV quality of community and friendship. So, when you have a few minutes, swing by the classrooms of the newcomers and give them a warm hello; I’m sure that they would appreciate it.