Back-to-school activities are well underway throughout Arizona. Students are busy filling their last few days of freedom with swimming and marathon video game sessions, while parents are trying to round up the last few items on the class supply lists. And the teachers? Teachers are already hard at work, getting everything ready for the first day of school.
Meet Ms. Hoskins
Kelsey Hoskins gives some insight into what exactly “back-to-school” means for teachers. Ms. Hoskins grew up in Arizona and graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in history and secondary education. Though new to her current school, ASU Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, she taught the previous four years at The New Foundation, a residential treatment center that provides education to children facing various personal struggles and behavioral difficulties.
Like the high school freshmen she will be teaching, Ms. Hoskins is approaching this school year as the next phase of her education:
Teaching at The New Foundation was an incredible experience that shaped me as a teacher. I was not only helping children, but children who were going through intense personal struggles and needed guidance. However, after four years, I did decide to move on to teach here at ASU Prep because I believe it is another opportunity to grow and learn. It is impossible to be the best teacher I can be if I stay stagnant, and I am so excited to move into this new position and meet a whole new group of young minds.
Getting Ready for Day One
Since she is new to the ASU Preparatory Academy, Ms. Hoskins is busy planning her new curriculum. She’ll be taking over Ninth Grade World History and begin working with a small group of students working on their year-long capstone projects. She will mentor these same students for the rest of their high school careers.
Ms. Hoskins has also spent weeks handling the details of setting up a new classroom in a new (to her) school. Tasks include everything from figuring out where the classroom is located on campus to finding markers for the white board. With no hoard of leftover supplies or existing classroom decor, Ms. Hoskins’ classroom is a clean slate. In between deciding on the most effective classroom layout and making sure the classroom technology works, she is also getting to know her fellow teachers and, most importantly, getting it ready for students to learn.
What Makes a Successful Start?
Ms. Hoskins says her biggest priority in the run-up to school starting is making sure students are in a positive learning environment from Day One. This reflects her general teaching philosophy, which puts students and a positive learning environment first. The paperwork is merely a way to show the expertise behind the action.
What else makes a successful start? Ms. Hoskins wants to make sure students know that she is happy and excited to be their teacher. Her classroom reflects her personality, as well as her passion for teaching. Perhaps nothing better demonstrates the melding of personal and professional passions than the organization of her classes: students are “sorted” into Hogwarts houses just like in her (and many of her students’) favorite book series, Harry Potter.