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The Rookie Diaries: A New Teacher’s Reflections on Year One At CB

You may have noticed there are new faces here at CB, especially teachers. 13 new teachers joined CB’s community this year, each with a unique background and perspective. I was fortunate to have two new teachers this semester, Ms. Achara Jones and Mr. Dustin Wagner. Their kind and welcoming demeanor has made me look forward […]

You may have noticed there are new faces here at CB, especially teachers. 13 new teachers joined CB’s community this year, each with a unique background and perspective. I was fortunate to have two new teachers this semester, Ms. Achara Jones and Mr. Dustin Wagner. Their kind and welcoming demeanor has made me look forward to coming to school, especially as a senior with senioritis.

A positive about welcoming new teachers is that it can bring new perspectives, innovative ideas, and enthusiasm to a school and its community. Their eagerness to make an impact and willingness to try new approaches can better the learning environment, inspiring students and colleagues alike.

Mr. Joseph Wotawa joined CB this spring semester and says it’s been a quick, but smooth adjustment. “I’m impressed with CB. The students and colleagues are very nice,” he says. Mr. Wotawa, who is originally from Wyoming, traveled to California with his wife to pursue his Catholic faith and teach religion at a Catholic school.

”Although it was a fast transition, it didn’t feel like it because the people here made me feel very welcomed. I like the strong Catholic faith here and contributing to it. And my favorite thing about CB is all school lunch — especially when there are events like Earthfest. The sense of community and togetherness it brings is so cool. It is unlike any other place I’ve worked.”

Mr. Wotawa will prioritize and take more time to develop relationships with students as he eventually enters the next school year having learned what he learned from this one. Additionally, he will show his humanity in the classroom and provide each student an equal opportunity to study in order to maintain a positive learning environment

Mr. Sergio Castillo ‘17 came back to CB to teach math after deciding in college he no longer wanted to be a doctor “After three years of BioChem coursework, I realized I hated it,“ he says. As he thought about what he wanted to do for a career, he remembered his fantastic time at CB as a student and how a lot of his family members are teachers.

“When I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I knew I had to teach at CB. I was told when I was a CB student, that I would end up back at CB and work for them one day,” he says. “I knew I wanted to give back to this community.”

Although he was excited to work at CB, his transition into the job wasn’t easy. “I didn’t start working here until five weeks into the school year. I was the new person coming in. Things were already in a groove. And it took some time for the students to understand my way of working and it took a lot of time for me to understand these students and their way of working as well”.

However, his spring semester has been successful because he’s finally gained a good rhythm. He cherishes the relationships he’s established with his students and colleagues. There is comfort now. Mr. Castillo loves CB and deeply appreciates the ability of sharing a balance of work, religion, and social life all in one.

Ms. Jones describes her first year as a social studies teacher as fun and fresh. She was a long-term sub here last year but eventually got a full-time position. “It has been a fun and refreshing adjustment for me,” she shares. “Growing relationships with the students and colleagues has been a wonderful and genuine experience.”

As fun as this year has been for Ms. Jones, the downside is eventually saying goodbye to students with whom she’s formed an impactful relationship.

”I’m loving it here so far. However, after building bonds all year and realizing your students have to move on whether that is to the next grade level or preparing seniors onto their next journey is sad, but bittersweet. It is a moment knowing you are preparing them for their next adventure and I love that”.

Ms. Jones loves teaching history and civics, even though civics is only a semester-long class and her time with the seniors is short. However, she is looking forward to next year and evolving her relationships with colleagues and meeting new students.

The new teachers at CB are exceptionally outgoing and kind. Every CB student should have the experience of having a first-year teacher at CB.

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