The Challenges Behind Teaching


Renee Walmoth, Staff Writer

I recently checked in with one of our newer teachers to BHS. Mrs. Olson is an English teacher, and took over the class at the beginning of this year when Mrs. Acton left. I would like to share her achievements and hardships with a look at a teacher’s life.

“I have had a passion for helping others, and then also, I just really love reading. When I was in high school, I wanted to share my love of reading with other people. When I was a senior in high school, I was in National Honors Society, and we had to do mandatory peer tutoring for DNF students, and I absolutely loved it. I loved helping the student, I loved going and sitting with them and helping them with their work. I actually volunteered so many times that the lady told me I had to stop volunteering so other kids had the opportunity to volunteer. It really stemmed from peer tutoring as a high schooler, and just really loving literature, modern and classic,” English teacher Mrs. Olson said.

Since I have her as a teacher myself, I can see that there is a love for reading along with a love for her students and team. Although teaching is glorified in many ways to be seen as a perfect job, it’s not always that way. Many times, it can be a difficult task to get students under control or just get them to listen. She also shared how difficult it was to start two weeks into the year.

As stated above, Mrs. Acton left teaching and had to get a filler teacher who is now Mrs. Olson.  “I originally interviewed for a position over at one of the middle schools over the summer and didn’t get that position because I have no experience with middle schoolers whatsoever. I don’t think it would go well. They ended up calling me the day that Mrs. Acton was going to accept her new position, and it was a Wednesday. That same day, Lowes had offered me a promotion and then Brownsburg had offered me a position and called me saying they need a position filled immediately, so I came in and interviewed with Mrs. Thompson who is the English head. She immediately said yes and that I needed to interview with Dr. Daghe. He later approved me that afternoon, and that night, I had to go to Lowes and tell them that I couldn’t take their position,” Olson said.

Many of her students are glad she is here and continue to help her get comfortable to a new school. Before she taught at Brownsburg, she had taught at Cardinal Ritter High School. She said, “This was a big change. I had 160 students that I was now responsible for.”

“If you don’t like reading, you haven’t read the right book,” said Olson.

Now she is ready for next year but still wants to share how difficult it was for her to adjust to a larger school than the last. “It took me a long time to get my footing, which is fair because I have never been in a school this size before. I’ve never had a 160 students before. I didn’t even have 160 students in my graduating class for high school. It definitely took me a while to feel comfortable, but I feel like spring break was kind of the turning point. I told myself that I finally have my head above water and was able to function without copious amounts of stress. I felt a little bit more comfortable with rules to enforce. Next year is going to be much better because I’m not coming in a few weeks into the semester. I want to set it with my expectations rather than what the teacher already told them and not knowing her previous expectations. The first year anywhere is rough, but they threw me with special education students, and I had never worked with a co-teacher before in the classroom. It was something I was never taught.”

Now that she has felt more comfortable in the classroom, I asked her some plans for the summer and what she plans on doing. She has planned to help her mom who is the Vice President of an HR company. She said, “Her company needs a lot of help with scanning and sorting papers into a data base, so I’m going to do that for about 20 hours a week.” While she is working over the summer, she also has good plans for next year and is thinking about how to have a better year all together. She shares one last thing to make sure people truly enjoy English for what it is.