Bethany Slater is a new English teacher at T.C. Williams. She has coached cross country and track at T.C. in the past. A transcript of Theogony‘s interview with her is as follows:
Q: Have you taught previously at another school?
A: This is my first year teaching… I did my student-teaching here at T.C. last fall and then I was a long term sub in the spring.
Q: For which classes were you a substitute teacher last year?
A: I subbed-in at the library for about a month, and then taught aerospace engineering and biotechnology for about three months in the spring which was a lot of fun.
Q: Now that you have been teaching for a few weeks, what are your thoughts on the students?
A: Oh, I love them. Working at T.C. is my dream job and I knew I wanted to be here largely because of the students.
Q: What should students look forward to in your English class?
A: I nerd out about literature and I hope that my enthusiasm is contagious.
Q: Is the school system what you expected it to be?
A: Yes, it is. I have been around here for about three years now so I get how it works.
Q: Why did you come to T.C.?
A: I first came to T.C. as a cross country coach three years ago and that was my foot in the door. I knew I wanted to work here; I live very close by and this is where my university master program funnels their teachers. So I started coaching, my student-teaching, and my long-term subbing here with the aim of working here permanently.
Q: Some teachers think students should have a set course schedule that doesn’t include electives. What do you think?
A: I think it is important for students to explore their interests, especially at this formative age. I know that there are electives that are in a series or academic electives that can take you out of exploring more traditional electives, but that should be a choice a student makes based on their own interests.
Q: What do you think about 96 minute classes?
A: I love it. I think it’s great to have that much time with students during the day. If you have a 40 minute block or a 50 minute block, which I have seen at other schools, it feels like once you get started students are already leaving. There is also a lot of transition time and it is nice that both students and teachers are preparing for few classes per day.
Q: Does T.C. Williams live up to your expectations?
A: Yes, working at T.C. is my dream job and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. The administration is great, the staff is absolutely fantastic, and T.C. students are very fortunate to go here and the teachers are fortunate to teach those students.