What is it about talking to a teacher out of class that makes it so un-comfortable for a student? For the most part, students look at their teachers as people with whom they are forced to put up with everyday, whose names' begin with either mister, miss or misses and above all, are boring people who live at school. Without much probing, however, it becomes obvious that the teachers here at Montgomery Blair High School are in fact a colorful bunch.
ESOL teacher Ailish Zompa did not realize that she wanted to become a teacher until college. Even though her mother was a teacher, Zompa had always thought she would become a journalist. Luckily, she chose to teach instead. She is now an ESOL teacher at Blair and is very happy with the path her career has taken.
Suzanne Harvey, a staff development at Montgomery Blair High School, grew up in Cecil County, Maryland. She was raised in the same house her father was born and died in. Harvey received her elementary education in a two-room school house. She was an intelligent child always ahead of her grade. She completed elementary school early but had to stay for the rest of fifth grade and was therefore assigned to help younger children having problems in reading or math. This helped her because, as she puts it,
Growing up in a small New England town, E.S.O.L. teacher Natalie Waltz had seen very little of the world. "It was very homogeneous; almost exclusively middle class and white," she commented on her hometown of Newtown, Connecticut. Waltz knew that she wanted to see the world and show it to others through teaching.
In her next life, Blair Spanish teacher Dora Gonzalez wants to be a singer. That would be a shame, because she clearly has a passion for teaching. While she admits that singing would be more exciting "in some areas,” she says that teaching is her true calling.
Jake Scott, 28, has been at Blair for five years in the math department teaching algebra, geometry and pre-calculus. In Scott's classroom students feel a type of relief because of his laid back approach toward teaching. If a person doesn't understand a certain aspect of what he is covering he will slow down in order to leave no one behind. Scott makes sure everyone is learning the material because he cares more about a person walking away with knowledge than having a bunch of unanswered questions.
Jacob Joseph Lee never met his parents. Foster parents took him in at 2 months old, changing his life for the better. As a teacher, Lee is inspired and determined to spread the kindness he had experienced in his youth to all his students.
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