New teachers transition to high school

After making connections with more experienced teachers, many new teachers at the high school are finding transitioning to their job less challenging. The teachers are also tapping into their past experiences in schools to guide them.


Arrowhead photo by Melanie Vincent

Learning our history…Helping freshmen Ashley Ochoa (foreground) and Lauren Park during a stations activity, social studies teacher Okoteh Sackitey guides his students on March 8. Despite this being his sixth year teaching, this is his first year teaching students at Souderton.

With the support of the faculty and past experiences, several of this school year’s new teachers have found adjusting to the job smooth and kept challenges to a minimum.
Many of the new teachers in the building have had past experience teaching in other schools which helped their adjustment.
English teacher Clint Johnston and social studies teacher Okoteh Sackitey have both taught in other schools before.
“This is my sixth year teaching so I have some experience. That’s helped the transition be a little bit easier,” Sackitey said.
According to Johnston, “every school is a school,” and there have been no major differences he has had to adjust to.
ESL teacher Elijah White is teaching for the first time this year, but his experience in the school has helped him.
According to White, this is his fifth year at the high school. He has been one of Souderton’s assistant football coaches as well as a security guard.
While they have experience being in a school environment, there have still been some minor challenges and new adjustments to get used to.
White said that he is used to interacting with many different students on a daily basis after being a security guard.
“My interaction with a big group of children has now come down to a small group of children,” White said, “but it’s wonderful because I get to focus more, I get to relate more, I get to understand them more and help them, guide them, get them to where they need to be.”
According to White, you can always expect to run into a few small challenges throughout the day. “If you don’t expect to have a couple challenges a day, you’re fooling yourself,” White said.
Johnston said that one of the challenges he faced was receiving “a lot or a little to work with” in regards to adjusting to student behavior.
With inevitable challenges, more experienced teachers in the building have also been helping to guide the new teachers.
“I’ve had tremendous colleagues and people who have stepped up and been able to help me out,” Sackitey said.
Johnston said that he likes to ask different teachers in his hallway for help so he can get to know everyone equally and get different perspectives.
“It’s a good team in [my] hallway,” Johnston said.
With a strong handle on the job, the new teachers are able to look towards their future at Souderton.
According to Sackitey, he is excited to watch his students grow throughout their years in high school and eventually graduate because he is used to teaching seniors.
“Now I meet [students] earlier in [their] academic careers, so I can see the growth of the years and then watch [them] graduate,” Sackitey said.
Johnston is also looking forward to getting to decorate his own classroom.
“That’s not usually something I think about because I’ve never had a classroom for longer than a year,” Johnston said.
Many of the new teachers are excited to see the school and their experience grow.
“I just want to see our community and our school thrive,” White said, “and if I can in any way help do that in my years here, that’s a win.”