What is Hillcrest like from a teacher’s perspective?


Jim Boswell

A bird’s eye view of Hillcrest High School

Bessie Barlow, Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered what teachers think about the school they work in? Do they hate or love it? Do teachers and students share the same opinion? Hillcrest High School has a very dynamic student body and staff. The school is diverse in every way with people from different backgrounds and parents who are alumni of the school or district just like some teachers. I asked a few teachers from different departments four questions about Hillcrest and what they like about their jobs.

1. What is the best thing about Hillcrest?
2. What is one thing you wish you could change about hillcrest?
3. Why have you decided to stay teaching at Hillcrest?
4. What do you like about being a teacher/ librarian/ Counselor?

I asked questions from: Mr. Fitch who has taught English at Hillcrest for nine years and works with various clubs; Mrs. Veal who is the counselor for college and career planning, a first-year at Hillcrest, who has been going great so far; Ms. Williams a librarian who has worked at Hillcrest for three years and works with various clubs such as Book Club, GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), Tech Team and more; Ms. Snyder who has taught Social Studies at Hillcrest for fifteen years runs Mock Trial and Junior leadership; and Mrs. Lee, a Spanish teacher who runs World Language Club. While all of them see different students and run days differently, they all had similar answers to the four questions.

According my interviewees, students are the main thing that is best about Hillcrest; all agreed to this. I personally would have to agree that the student is the best thing at Hillcrest. While some students lack basic home training, a good majority don’t, and it shows.

Mrs. Lee agrees that students are the best thing at Hillcrest, and “the best thing is that there is never a dull moment, always a new challenge, and experience at Hillcrest.” I agree there is never a dull moment at Hillcrest, but from my perspective and hers, we could be talking about different things.

Mr. Fitch and Ms. Williams had similar response about what is the best thing at Hillcrest, talking about students and staff. “The best thing about Hillcrest is the community of faculty, staff, and students. Everyone works together to make sure students are successful,” said Mr. Fitch. “The best thing at Hillcrest is its community,” Ms. Williams responded.

My next question was meet with different responses. When asked “What is one thing you wish you could change about Hillcrest?” Mr. Fitch responded, “The only thing I would change about Hillcrest is to have later start days, school should start at 9:00 am to have better productivity from both student and staff.” Yes, I am in one hundred percent agreement with this. Waking up at 5:30 am and being at school at 7:00am is hard.

Since Mrs. Vela has been loving Hillcrest, the only thing she wish that she would be able to change is to make the College and Career counselor position full-time, to allow her to interact with more students and staff. This would be a great idea to make the position full-time, because this will allow freshman to start thinking early about college. This will also help prepare the freshman for when senior year comes, so they would have an idea as to what they want for college or their career. Ms. Williams expressed the wish to change “students being irresponsible with their IPADS, and students treating the library with respect by not talking to loud.” This is understandable because during lunch periods it’s hard to concentrate with all the noise. Ms. Snyder would like everyone to come together with more school events. More school events would be good because the school definitely lacks school spirit from both the staff and students. Mrs. Lee and a few teachers wish that students would have a little more respect for teachers, and parents and administration would follow through with consequences for students

Hillcrest is a very unique place, most teaches agree that they stay here for the students. Staying for the students was the common answer for why they decided stay, or they feel Hillcrest is a good fit for them. Each teacher said that there is a reward knowing that they are helping students become responsible young adults and preparing them for the future. “The students appreciate help when given sometimes, helping students find the right book for them and knowing they like it, and all the clubs Hillcrest has to offer,” offered Ms. Williams.

So, what has made them chose to become a teacher/ Librarian/ or counselor? Everyone said they enjoy influencing teenagers to make the right decisions. Helping and working with them also is the reason for choosing their job. Mrs. Vela truly has a love for helping and working with others and that’s why she became a counselor. She wanted to be the person in school where you can come talk to and get advice from. Ms. Snyder and Mr. Fitch had similar answers to why they became a teacher. As Mr. Fitch put it, “I like being a teacher because I can help students become who they are meant to be.” They both wanted to change lives and believed it was their calling to become a teacher at a certain time in their life; having both worked non-education jobs before teaching.

As a whole the teachers love Hillcrest the teachers interviewed love being able to interact with students. Being able talk to and help solve their problems in and out of school, allowing them to reach the best they can be. They are all great at their jobs and helping their students with what they need.