As North Springs says goodbye to the seniors of 2015 and a few Spartan teachers, it also welcomes a new bundle of teachers and staff. With the end of the year around the corner, the new Spartan teachers get the chance to reflect on their first year at North Springs.
In the World Languages department, North Springs added new teacher Ms. Ferris. Ferris, who was once the swim coach for the North Springs swim and dive time, is now an official member of the North Springs staff. Ferris is the department chair for works languages and says that her first year as a North Springs teacher “has been great.” For Ferris, the best thing about her first year at North Springs was being a part of student growth from the beginning of the year until now. “The best part is seeing my students grow with the Spanish language from August to now,” says Ferris. North Springs students have been a one of the best things about Ferris’s year as well as a great joy as well. For a teacher who had originally taught middle school students, it was a challenge to switch gears and start teaching high school students.
Teaching high school students is one of the major changes Ms.Ferris had to get used to. “[ Getting] to now high schoolers has been fun. They are more mature than the middle schoolers I used to teach.” Ferris also comments on North Springs compared to her previous school. “The administration is stronger and more supportive and more appreciative of the teachers.” Ferris also admits that the students are wonderful and the world language department has great collaboration skills. Ferris talks about some of the things she feels would make North Springs an even better school. “I would recommend that we recognize students who are doing the right thing more than punishing students doing the wrong thing,” says Ferris. The department plans to make strides to rewarding students who do the right thing the upcoming semester. Ferris will be back next year to continue teaching North Springs students and as the coach for the water polo team. For next year, she plans to organize a Spanish club, get more student involvement in the National Spanish Exam, and organize an educational trip abroad.
The science department also gained new members at the start of the school year and now that the year is dwilindlingly down, Mr. Eldridge reflects on his year as a North Springs teacher. For Eldridge the beginning of the year was the most difficult part. As a new teacher, it was difficult for Eldridge to get comfortable with the students and vise versa, but overcoming this challenge made Eldridge’s year more enjoyable towards the end. “My favorite part was getting into the groove with all my classes,” says Eldridge. As for the students, Eldridge says “My students are great! Most of them will enter the classroom with a smile on their face eager to learn, and say “thank you” every day when they leave.” Eldridge has also been active in North Springs by creating the “Table Top club” in the school. Although the club was created later in the second semester, Eldridge plans to continue club activities as soon as possible.
North Springs is very different than Eldridge’s previous school. Whereas North Springs offers students freedom to communicate in the halls and go to their lockers in between classes, Eldridge’s previous school was far more strict. “North Springs is a lot more laid back than my previous school,” says Eldridge. “[Lockers] were in classrooms and there was no talking in the halls.” However Eldridge also finds some flaws in the freedom that North springs students are awarded. “ I think this is a double edged sword. It give the students freedom to express themselves and feel comfortable, but it opens up the door for behavior that is not conducive to learning.”To combat this, Eldridge recommends a “school wide discipline system.” Overall, Eldridge says he is “looking forward” to the rest of his North Springs teaching career.
North Springs also added to the math department with the addition of new teacher Ms. Ann Weaver. Weaver praises all of North Springs in her statement, “there is an energy at North springs that is contagious.” The energy that Weaver admires is one of the things that made her first at North Springs “really well.” However, Weaver was posed with a challenge when teaching new freshman as their math skills were lacking from their previous middle school years. Nonetheless, Weaver says she loves her students. “They are friendly, and they want to know what I did over the weekend and how my day is going.” With that love and appreciation of her students, it is clear to see why Weaver would feel “disheartened” when she has to submit less than stellar grades, but Weaver and other department members are not willing to give up on their students. “We’re not giving up though!” says Weaver. In order to motivate her students, Weaver plans to continue working at North Springs “building confidence in teenagers so that they can succeed not only in math, but in the world.” But like all schools, North Springs is not perfect. Weaver recommends creating more “consistency” within the school when it comes to the staff and administration in regards to discipline in order to continue building a better North Springs. Weaver wraps up her first year at North Springs with experience as the freshman class sponsor, tutor, and motivator for her students.
And last but not least on a short wrap up of freshman teachers, career and technical academy teacher Mr. Ferris makes his debut. Ferris describes the overall year as a “whirlwind.” “It was fast paced,” says Ferris, “I can’t believe we’re already in late April.” The North Springs students did much to impress the new teacher as he says “I’m blown away by all the things our students can do.” Ferris enjoyed watching the students show their talents. “The students are why I wanted this experience,” says Ferris. For Ferris, one of his worst memories of North Springs was the “power outage right before Thanksgiving Break.” Ferris finds student success to be very rewarding and for that reason, he would willingly return to North Springs. North Springs differed from Ferris’ previous school mostly because he came from a university to a high school. “I had to adjust to the daily schedule and how to best organize a class for high school students,” says Ferris. Ferris has been very involved in North Springs activities. “I have been to several sporting events and plays and I coached the Mock Trial team.” Ferris’ prominent involvement comes from his job title as a “video teacher.” He organizes morning announcements and works directly with Spartan TV.