Richmond Hill High School Welcomes Five New Teachers
By Heather Ponce and Taylor Herving
As the last rays of summer fade, the cool breezes of autumn usher in change. New faces are seen among the seas of students, including five new teachers, all willing to share their knowledge with the budding young adults of Richmond Hill High School.
Although this is her first year teaching at Richmond Hill High School, Ms. Cortes is not shy about showing her passion and potential in teaching. From a humble beginning of teaching in after school programs for four years, she is now achieving her childhood dream of being a teacher. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher ever since I've had my high school teacher Mr. Devo,” Ms.Cortes said. She now teaches algebra and geometry for all grades pushing to leave the same impact her high school experiences did on all the young people of Richmond Hill.
Ms. Eissawi is joining the Social Studies and ENL departments this school year. She started out teaching at a local daycare in Brooklyn and with one email later she was embarking on a new journey. Even though this is her first year teaching she has learned to treat students like adults because they will soon be going out into the world. She knows it’s important to do this because it is an easy way to connect with students.
“My high school English teacher helped me write my English essays when I was struggling to learn the language,” Ms. Eissawi recalled. Being from an immigrant family, it was fairly difficult to learn English, but along with her teacher helping her and her own experience with a second language, she quickly realized that helping students is what she wanted to do.
Although Ms. Rodrigues has only been teaching professionally for a year, she realizes in order for students to maintain interest that it's important to have a connection with the teacher. She recalls that her, “fifth grade volleyball coach and history teacher kept class interesting when she had a connection with the students in her class and this definitely made learning history a lot easier.”
Since Ms. Rodrigues is a Queens native she quickly heard about the opening in the school and applied as soon as she heard. She feels like making a connection with a student is very important and when she was young, she noticed that when her teachers made an effort to connect with the students within the class it quickly inspired her desire to teach.
After working in China for three years, Mr. Jiang is a returning faculty member and a new addition to the ENL department. He worked during his TOC internship in this very school. With being a teacher for four years, he had realized that “the learning never stops.”
Mr. Jiang's passion for teaching ENL students rose from his counselor, Ms. Carol, whose friendship still continues to this day. Their relationship began with Ms. Carol helping Mr. Jiang improve his English. Through this relationship she was also able to attend his wedding and later on help his daughter. Mr. Jiang's inspiration and passion for teaching is to work with people that speak different languages since he speaks a different language himself.
Teachers often look for inspiration and are sometimes guided by their own parents’ careers. For Ms. Hassan, a new ENL teacher, this couldn't be more true. She found herself following in her mother's footsteps to become a teacher. “Seeing my mom as a teacher and watching her helping her students thrive to become the best inspired my passion for teaching,” Ms.Hassan said.
She was in a mentoring program while in high school and her English teacher instantly knew that she had the skill to become a teacher and helped her in her promising career. After teaching in MS 210 for four years and making a drastic change in her career to work in a high school, she realized that students will be more open to learning when the teacher isn't forcing the subject on top the kids.
With a mix of new and experienced teachers, these five new additions to the school’s faculty hope to make a strong impression on the Richmond Hill community.