Resource department to anticipate change in staff


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Fifth grade resource teacher Hannah Nance will be coming to teach at the high school at the beginning of the 23-24 school year.

Francesca Messerschmidt, Staff Writer

At the end of the 2022-2023 school year, special education English teacher Johni Beal will be retiring, and fifth grade resource teacher Hannah Nance will be taking her place.

Beal has been teaching at HHS for 15 years, while Nance has been teaching at East Side for seven.

“Two factors were instrumental in my decision to retire,” Beal said. “One being spending more time with my two-year old grandson, and secondly, traveling with my husband of 37 years this July.” 

Nance already has some close connections with people in the high school.

“I really wanted to move to the high school to be closer to the speech team,” Nance said. “I’ve been a coach for them for 5-6 years.”

Teaching in a resource setting has some differences compared to working with a full class.

“The teaching has to be individualized to the student. I tend to focus on teaching the deficient skills of individuals to try and make up for lost time or to fill in gaps,” Nance said. “In resource, it is so important to tailor the instruction to the individual rather than the class as a whole.”

Beal noted that Nance will see increased paperwork, but notes other differences as well.

“One of the differences of teaching a resource class is having a lower class size,” Beal said.

Both teachers find their job to be extremely rewarding.

“My favorite part about teaching is seeing students who have struggled with a concept for a while finally get it,” Nance said. “There are things that you will do in your classroom that students will remember for the rest of their lives. It’s such an amazing feeling.”

Beal loves getting to know and become close with her students most. 

“Getting to know students and building trust is very important to me,” Beal said.

Teaching wasn’t the initial decision for either. Nance originally went to college for music, and Beal planned to be a laboratory technician.

While both love teaching, they also admit teaching comes with challenges.

“Some challenges of teaching include paperwork and all the time it takes to complete such paperwork,” Beal said. 

Nance feels that despite initial struggles, she’s finally begun to understand herself as a teacher after time in the career.

“Every new teacher has a lot to learn and overcome in their first years of teaching,” Nance said. “Learning your personal teaching style, and figuring out that what might work for some won’t necessarily work for you are some struggles.”

Nance and Beal both encourage aspiring teachers to go easy on themselves and learn as they go.

“Teaching is truly a learning experience for all involved, teachers and students,” Beal said.