Jessica Johnston, Valley High School
Kristin Ayers teaches English and Spanish at Valley High School. It is not only her first year teaching at the school, but her first year teaching in general.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you have ever been a new student at school, then you know the feeling of anxiety of going somewhere you don't know anyone. You may find it hard to believe, but students aren't the only ones who feel anxious when starting at a new school: teachers are, too.Last year at Valley High School, numerous teachers retired, leaving new teachers to take their place this year. One of those new teachers is Kristin Ayers, who teaches English 9, English 10 and Spanish I.Ayers earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from West Virginia University. She first interviewed for the teaching job when she was at a Career Fair there."I was interested in the position because it enables me to teach both English and Spanish," she said.
Until this year, Valley only had French as the foreign language option. However, the teacher who taught it retired, and a replacement couldn't be found. Instead of having a teacher present for the class, the alternative was going to be to offer French classes via the Internet.Then, the school found Ayers."This is actually my first teaching job," admitted Ayers, who did her student teaching in Fairmont. "Both the faculty and the students at Valley have been really welcoming to me as a teacher. They also seem enthusiastic about having a Spanish program here, which is exciting!"Valley isn't a very large school, especially for one housing grades 6-12. Even though it's quite a dramatic change from her college and the school where she completed her student teaching, Ayers likes Valley so far."I like Valley and the small community feeling it has," she said. "It's not overwhelming like some schools."She also really likes her job."I definitely enjoy being a teacher!" she exclaimed. "I grew up loving to read and learn, and with this profession, I am able to instill some of this passion into my students."Ayers also likes that teaching, unlike some other jobs, usually has flexible hours. It's a big help for her."I got married in July, and I'm still trying to get used to juggling a career and a marriage," she said. "One good thing about being a teacher is I can still have dinner ready when my husband gets home."