Tomorrow will mark the end of another year at Emporia High School…the end of my eighth year of teaching at my alma mater. Wow…eight years. It is hard to believe I’ve been out of high school for eight years, let alone, been out of college longer for nine years and teaching back at EHS for eight. I can’t believe how quickly it has all gone!
To be honest, I never really thought about teaching at EHS. When I finished at K-State, I decided to take the first job I was offered – just so that I would for sure have one. That job took me to Marysville, Kansas, and I did enjoy my first year there. I loved teaching my seventh graders, advising the yearbook and newspaper and also teaching Junior English. It was a great first job and I worked with some really wonderful people. Everything was set for my second year there – I’d moved to a bigger apartment, taken on some new responsibilities at the school and was looking forward to year two, but something would change all that.
When I was on vacation in Florida that summer, I got a call from Mr. Sheldon at EHS. Apparently there was an opening at EHS (which I was surprised to hear about because my mom hadn’t mentioned anything) and he wanted to know if I was interested in applying for the job. I hadn’t really thought about it at all (obviously) but I decided to go ahead and interview. The job was English only (and I truly love journalism) so I was apprehensive, but I decided that it would be a great opportunity to get to work with my mom and I made the move back to Emporia and EHS.
What a great ride it has been so far! I taught Freshman English, Junior Comp, Media and Short Story that first year and definitely worked hard…taking on Spartan Club duties and some other responsibilities – like working some games, but I really missed teaching my journalism classes…and that was about to change! I taught that first year with my journalism adviser, Mr. Hughey. I spent some time down in the journalism room chatting with him, reliving old memories and secretly wishing that I would be teaching those classes…and that was about to change! Hughey had been applying for other jobs in the yearbook publishing world, and he got a job with Walsworth Publishing company. When he got the job, he called me down to his room and told me that he was taking a new job and wondered if I wanted to take over the journalism classes…um….hello?! Of course I did!
So, in the fall of 2004, I took over the journalism program at EHS, and I have been there ever since. Although there are days I feel overwhelmed, and days that I wish I was teaching in a “regular” classroom, I truly love my job. Even though I had never planned on coming back to Emporia, I am so glad I did. I have been lucky enough to work with some great people – some of them my former teachers and even classmates, and some of them new friends. I have been blessed with some hard-working (most of the time) students who take pride in their work.
As the year comes to an end, I can’t help but be excited about what next year brings. In journalism every year brings new leadership and new ideas and that is exciting. Here’s to a great 2011 – and an even better 2012 school year!