New Teachers, New Year

Meghan Braddy, Reporter

Every new school year is always bound to bring change, whether it’s new classes, new teachers, or even new technology. This year, Griffith High School and Griffith Middle School acquired an influx of fifteen new teachers after a large number of teachers resigned or were riffed from their positions last school year. This was a dramatic change for students and staff alike. Students are currently adjusting to seeing new faces every day and they were forced to say goodbye to the old teachers they know and love. Although change at first was poorly received, the new teachers are being warmly welcomed into the Griffith school system. Slowly the students are getting to know their new teachers and are falling into the groove of how they run their classrooms.

Sophomore Trista Book said, “Everything is different. There’s a different setting, new rules, and a new environment. Although I miss the previous teachers, I really enjoy my classes with my three new teachers. They are very respectful and kind. Sometimes they let us do what we want, but at the end of the day they are patient with us and explain every detail well. Each one of my new teachers takes their time. They know and understand that this year is going to be difficult for some of us, and they’re very sympathetic towards that.”

The new teachers have greatly enjoyed their time teaching at Griffith so far, but there have been some challenges. Adjusting to Griffith’s technology has been a huge struggle, especially with the recently new acquired iPads and the admin’s decision to slowly work up to becoming a paperless school.

Barbara Lail, a new teacher for the English department and Griffith alumni, said, “The last school I worked at was Gavit High School, and Griffith is very different to it when it comes to technology. Powerschool and Unified Classroom are new grading systems for me because I had never used them before. Other than that, the kids are very motivated in my classes and constantly make my day.”

Griffith hired various teachers from local Indiana towns, such as Crown Point and Hammond, each with their own reasoning for joining the school system. For Lail and art department teacher Paul Benninghoff, the choice to become a Griffith panther was easy. Benninghoff worked as a paraprofessional his past two years of teaching, but when an art position opened up at Griffith he jumped at the opportunity.

“My main goal was to be an art teacher, but I knew the arts always had a very good chance of being cut. I chose to work as a paraprofessional as a career for me to fall back on. So far working at Griffith, I really enjoy the staff and appreciate their stances and policies on things,” said Benninghoff.

We all know teachers are a huge part of what makes every school productive, and hiring the right ones who can benefit the students positively can be a difficult task. Although Griffith lost a good amount of well-loved and respected teachers last year, they persevered and acquired reputable teachers to fill the open positions. These teachers have brought back classes students thought were gone forever, and have gone the extra mile to make sure their students are as comfortable as possible in the presence of someone they’re not used to.