Learning About Our Teachers

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Mrs. Preston loves Hidden Valley

Gracey Haas, Rita Faltas, Reporters

Have you ever wondered why your teacher chose to become a teacher? Mrs. Preston is a math teacher here at Hidden Valley High School. She has been teaching for about 15 years now, she started teaching in 2006, the same year she graduated. Was that her first choice for a career and what inspired her to make a change? A study shows that only 27% of people stick with their first career choice but Mrs. Preston is not one of the 27%, “My career choice when I was a kid was to become a personal accountant for a rich-rich,” she said.

Mrs. Preston got her degree at The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University or Virginia Tech. She chose Virginia Tech because she had history there. “I was a Hokie and went to football games with my uncle. I went to Camp Teen Congress. So, I just loved it there. I’ve always loved Virginia Tech.”

What changed her mind was a little girl who needed her help one summer. “I was helping a girl a during a summer program with her alphabet. She was about 14 years old. She did not know her alphabet and could not recognize letters. That is when I decided to go back to school to become a teacher.” Mrs. Preston got lucky that one day when she was substituting for an absent math teacher who did not want to continue teaching at Hidden Valley.

“It was around December. The teacher decided not to renew his contract with the school after the third nine weeks. At one of the department chair meetings, the math coordinator asked if anyone knew anybody that could take over his job. They recommended me as his replacement. That is when I started at Hidden Valley.” Mrs. Preston started teaching during the 3rd nine weeks of the school year.

“Starting at the end of the school year was different because the kids were used to him and his way of doing things. It was hard going in and trying to establish rules that late in the game.”

During this period with the virus going around and schools closing again we asked how the pandemic affected her in her classroom. “Not being able to get up and walk around like I used to. Because I must spread the classroom out. By spreading the classroom out, it minimizes me to one location. I still have done that. But I don’t feel like I have gotten to know the kids as well as the years before.”

During the time we spent in high school we never stopped and asked about how these teachers got here. Some of those teachers have inspiring background stories that might inspire you in a unique way. So, stop and ask to know why your teachers choose to be one.