Ms. Sheridan: Nueva Maestra (New Teacher)

Elena Barshak, Contributor

Nashoba has a new addition to their staff this year, Ms. Sheridan. She is a Spanish teacher who worked as along term sub for Mrs. Diaz during the second half of last year, and this year she became a permanent member of the staff community.

Before she worked at Nashoba, she was a long term sub at Belchertown High school, where she went to school as a kid. When she heard Nashoba was looking for a long term sub, she enthusiastically applied for the job.

She is currently teaching Spanish 1 and 2. Spanish 1 is all three levels: college prep, accelerated, and honors. Her Spanish 2 class is a combined all-level class. She says, “it is challenging teaching all three levels in the same class because its hard to keep the honors kids challenged while making sure that you don’t go over the heads of the college prep and then accelerated kids kind of falls in the middle.” She would prefer to have separate level classes. This year is a test year with all the different level kids in the same class; it hasn’t really been done before. Right now its big groups of everyone, and everyone needs to be on the same page.

When asked “do you like working here more than your previous job?” She fairly answered, “They’re different, for instance when I was there I was working with all the teachers I had in high school, which was weird at first, like when I had to call everyone by first name, but I really like it here. There is a lot more collaboration, so i’ll plan my lessons with other Spanish teachers. So, they’re different but I like it here.”

Her favorite thing about teaching is the rewarding feeling she gets when a student who is struggling with a concept gets that “Ah ha!” moment when they finally understand the material. Her goal is to help make the student feel confident again.

In high school, Ms. Sheridan knew she wanted to be a teacher, but before that she knew she wanted to go into a field where she helped people. She originally wanted to pursue a career in nursing. When she helped tutor peers who were struggling with one Spanish teacher, she became inspired to become a teacher. She thought to herself, “All right, that is what I want to do.”

She is fluent in Spanish but there are still more things she wants to learn. She double-majored in college in Spanish and Liberal Studies. Liberal studies is  like a “create your own major”, so she focused on Education, Latino studies, and Literature at Westfield State University.

So, if you see Ms. Sheridan in the halls, make sure you shout her a warm welcome to Nashoba!