What New Teachers Think About You

Bella Sorensen, Staff Writer

Samantha Hillock, one of the two art teachers at Centennial Junior High School, shares her experiences and first impressions of teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth grade as a new school teacher. Hillock has her own perspective about teaching in a middle school environment. As a yoga teacher, she has developed her own different ideas and point of views about teaching middle school students. Hillock also gives benefits and attributes about working with the students and teachers at Centennial Junior High School.

When asked about her expectations, Hillock answers that she tries not to have very many expectations for her students at all. She expresses that she wants to be flexible and nimble. Having a flexible attitude can help one to improve areas that need to be approved, instead of punishing mistakes one has made. Hillock mentions that she has learned from life experience that it is necessary to give yourself grace. Giving yourself grace can help you to look on the bright side, and not have a breakdown. In other words, it is necessary to give yourself the kindness and credit you deserve. Hillock also adds that she has an open mind. This helps her so that she can be willing to accept different solutions and other’s opinions/ideas. She next mentions that sometimes, plans need to be adjusted. Not everything goes perfectly, so she says it’s ok to adjust plans sometimes. 

Art is a creative and easy way to calm down. The article, “The Mental Health Benefits of Art Are for Everyone”, reads, “Activities like painting, sculpting, drawing, and photography are relaxing and rewarding hobbies that can lower your stress level and leave you feeling mentally clear and calm.” In a way, art can act like meditation, by paying close attention to detail and having to concentrate. One great thing about art is that anyone can do it, and anyone can be good at it. Some people have the impression that people can only be born with the talent, but artistic ability can come in many unexpected ways, shapes, and sizes.

Centennial Junior High School has shown Hillock different characteristics that help her to really enjoy teaching there. She explains how pleasantly surprised she was at how open/willing students were to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. She also describes students as being very engaged and involved. Hillock also explains that teachers are supportive and helpful. Overall, she says that Centennial Junior High School has a good culture.

Besides teaching middle school, Hillock teaches yoga. She explains that yoga is a very helpful life skill. Yoga is all about focusing on breathing. Yoga helps one to be present and calm. In a classroom environment, it is necessary to be present mentally as well as physically. As a teacher, being calm can help with patience and anti-stress. Also, yoga engages one to be mindful. Being mindful is an important skill to have in communication, so, as a teacher, being mindful is essential and necessary. Hillock also mentions that yoga has helped her to be more energized. Also, she mentions yoga helps her to wake up easier. Students need teachers who are energetic and ready to improve their learning with an encouraging spirit and a mindful character.

All in all, Centennial Junior High School has made a positive impact on Hillock. The students have been open in sharing their ideas to her. They have been willing to do what they need to do, and the students have been very involved. The teachers have been helpful, and also supportive.



Alban, Patrick. “The Mental Health Benefits of Art Are for Everyone.” Be Brain Fit, bebrainfit.com/benefits-art/.