Teacher Ready for New Year

by Danielle Katz ‘18

What about your experiences as a Sherwood student inspired you to return here, just a few years later, to teach?

When I attended Sherwood, I remember all of the guidance, support, and enthusiasm of the teachers at SHS. All of the teachers I had were so passionate about their subject area and responded exceptionally well to individual needs. I also have a very deep connection to this community. Many of my family members, including my mother and multiple aunts and uncles, graduated from Sherwood. Coming back to teach at Sherwood feels like coming home.

What have been your challenges this year as a first-year teacher? How have you dealt with them?

I have to juggle the workload of teaching 5 classes. Last year, as a graduate student intern, I taught two U.S. History courses. Now, I teach 3 AP Government and 2 NSL classes. There is a lot of work associated with teaching 5 classes, which includes grading and planning for two different classes. While this is a bit of an adjustment, I know I will get used to the workload.

How do you earn the respect of students?

One way is to be open with them. I do an activity at the beginning of the school year where I place artifacts about my teaching and personal life around the room. I tell students I want to earn their trust, and the way I do that is by being open with them about my life, so they will trust me as I lead them through my class throughout the school year.

What are some benefits and negatives of being so close in age to your students?

One pro is that I feel I can easily relate to them. Since I am so young, I remember what is was like to be a high school student, including all of the stresses with AP classes, sports, and the other pressures associated with being a teenager. One con I faced last year, and from time to time this year, is the way in which students address me. There are times when students think that is appropriate to address me by my first name. While this is not appropriate, I give students a friendly, but firm reminder. T