A Nerve-Racking New Job

Being a New Teacher at a New School is Quite Nerve-Racking, But Little Did Teachers know What They Were In For This Year

This is a picture of Mrs.Cassasa teaching at her old middle school in Beverly Mass.

Courtesy photo

This is a picture of Mrs.Cassasa teaching at her old middle school in Beverly Mass.

Being a new teacher at a school is a big and scary time for a new teacher, but little did they know what they were getting themselves into this year. 

What would you do if you had to teach 100 students properly during a pandemic?

Teaching at a new school for the first time during a pandemic comes with a serious amount of rules, patience, and skill — dealing with technical difficulties, having a back up lesson plan, and even the way you teach — that some teachers truly aren’t ready for.

Mrs Cassasa’s very first period as the new Spanish teacher  she wasn’t able to see A block, she made it through half of B block, and just barely made it in C block. Technology wasn’t working whatsoever, having serious wifi issues, making everything much more difficult. The horror story that all teachers think about on the first day had come true for Mrs.Casassa, and that is during a year without a pandemic.

Jessica has set up a schedule ensuring she’s ready for the next day – work and assignment wise. Mrs Cassasa says, “inch by inch life’s a cinch yard by yard. Life is hard” this has been her motto for getting through this tough COVID schedule. 

Having class online for Mrs.Casassa  has been very weird in numerous ways. A few examples include making connections with students which is nearly impossible to do over a screen not seeing their face because of how all classes have started to be on zoom. Another being a weird to start the year on the screen, something that she is not used to doing, overall being very stressful. This is weird for her because she has always taught with paper/handouts, in amends to having everything digital to prevent the spread of COVID.

Since Mrs.Cassasas has been teaching during COVID she feels that it has significantly increased her teaching skills – one way being how interesting it is to see how many work/assignments that can be made digital, as well as pushing herself to revamp lessons and thinking in a way that would make things better for the students.  It also helps to think more about breaking things down, and seeing things from student POV. Such as going through the lessons and seeing if they are up to par with what we should be learning as well as seeing if there’s anything that needs to be edited.This also gives her a way to test out all new and old technology first, to prevent any students from having issues with any technological problems . 

Mrs. Cassasa, who lives in Peabody, has seemed a very good fit for our school and community, coming from a middle school where they started Spanish earlier, she has taught at multiple levels.  She speaks Spanish, has an Ecuadorian mother, and a  Puerto Rican father, bringing with her a cultural aspect that she can share with students, something Mrs. Scott the main foreign language teacher who is also Mrs.Cassasas mentor, does not have access too in her home setting.

When Mrs Cassasa was asked why she started to teach Spanish she replied,  “I am very proud of my culture and want to share it with students. I love making connections with students and getting to know them as people.”  

Leaving high school she had no idea what she had wanted to pursue as her career. One day her Spanish teacher told her that she would be very good at teaching, and the teacher saw something she didn’t see in herself. Once she had gotten into college at UNH she experimented with it and enjoyed it heartily. .She taught at Portsmouth high school as an undergrad, then taught  k-8 Spanish in Rye, New Hampshire. After that she taught at  Beverly Middle School.  

“She was really fantastic during the interview process and has been since, said Principal Patrick Kelley, who helped hire Mrs. Cassasa. “She’s very creative, thoughtful, and connects well with students. During her interview she had 4-5 students watching, she taught a few sample lessons and did a very great job with each part of it. Students felt as though she was the best candidate to relate too for students, and her experiences in philosophy and creative teaching practices were very very big within the hiring process.”  

 After going through the interviews for new foreign language teachers Mrs.Scott was asked what she saw in Mrs.Casassa that she didn’t see in the other candidates.

“ I guess she just seemed like she’d be very relatable for students’ interactions. For the students in the interview, she seemed that she connected very well with them. She approached them at the right level, to her it was immediately a good fit.  Her demeanor to me was very confident and comfortable with what she’s doing. It is a very awkward time to have an interview on zoom, so to show something like that coming over the zoom call is a very good sign for me.” 

Mrs.Scott believes  Mrs. Cassasa is really personable and very much a team player. She is very collaborative and shares a lot of ideas.