New Teacher Talk: Ms. Norman

Johana Schocher, Contributor

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Who interviewed- Johana Schocher

Teacher Being interviewed- Ms. Norman


What grade are you teaching and what subject?

I teach 9th grade primarily and I am teaching ESL 1.


Can you give a brief background about yourself that you would like people to know about yourself?

Ms. Norman- I’m from Seattle, Washington and I moved to New Orleans about 3 years ago and I’ve been teaching at Grace King High School. This is my 3rd year at Grace King.


What made you want to come  teach at Grace King?

Ms. Norman-  Part of it was that I had taught ESL before and I Grace King had a high ESL population.


Where did come from? Did you teach anywhere else before coming here?

Ms. Norman-  Yeah I taught in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I’ve also taught in Leeds, England.


What are you most excited about this school year?

Ms. Norman- This school year what I’m mostly excited about is that I’m always excited to meet more students. It is also exciting to see my old students go up a level and eventually graduate. I have a couple of my first year students graduating this year, which is really exciting.


Is there anything you really love about Grace King so far?

Ms. Norman- There’s a lot that I do love about Grace King,  mostly the students. I love the students so much. I think they’re so funny.


When did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

Ms. Norman- Realizing I wanted to become a teacher was a slow process for me. Some people know right away and others are surprised but for me it was a slow process. It was something where I started with tutoring at my college and I was always that student in class that helped the students who didn’t know what was going on. I moved kinda into the ESL track and now to high school teaching.


What are some your hobbies?

Ms. Norman- I play piano, I love movies, I love going to the theater, going for walks, and hanging out with my friends on the weekends.


What do you expect to learn from at teaching at GK?

Ms. Norman- I think every year I always learn a little bit about student’s backgrounds, about student experiences and I incorporate that into the lessons so that students don’t feel like there just getting information from me but they’re also bringing something into the class themselves. So that’s something I hope to learn about but I also feel like that’s something I’m progressively learning about.


What is your dream vacation?

Ms. Norman-  I think right now my dream vacation is to either go to Italy, Venice and Rome, or like the opposite temperature kind of situation. I want to go to Norway and see the Northern Lights.


In which other teachers class would you like to enroll in for a day? Why?

Ms. Norman-  I use to do a lot of theater when I was in high school, so I would really like to be in Mr. Lacey class for one day and experience his drama class.


If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?

Ms. Norman- One of the first things I would pass on is that when I was in school we still didn’t really understand about the human brain development. Your brain continues to develop like a child’s does until you are 25. Which means until that time you have as much of an opportunity to gather information and to learn about yourself, to learn about cultures, and languages and all these different things that you can be exposed to. I think a lot of people think that by the time they hit high school that opportunity has closed for them, but they need to be really open that they’re still learning.  I’m 27 years old and it’s only been two years past the limit and I’m still learning and it’s been years since I was in that place.


How do you think students will remember you and your class?

Ms. Norman-  I hope that they will remember me kindly. I hope that they’ll consider me as a teacher that they were able to come to if they had concerns not just about academics but  about personal concerns. I feel like education is only productive if you were addressing what the students are learning in school but also their experience at large.