To students around the school, Ms. Paas may be a student teacher, a case manager, or a new teacher. To me, she is a fellow actress.
Ms. Paas has been acting since she was six years old, and continued until she graduated high school. Recently, she has gotten back into the art, as a part of the TYKEs, Theatre Young Kids Enjoy, program at the JCC. In this program, groups of 5-10 people perform staged musicals adapted from popular children’s stories. This November, they are performing Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus!.
Here at Victor, she hopes to get involved in our theatre programs, and bring her love for the arts into her work. She is also a Co-Advisor of Cares Club and helps with the Unified sports programs. In the future, she wants to make an impact by developing more outreach programs between the High School and younger schools.
Ms. Paas started here in 2019 observing Mr. Mayne for her junior year of college and continued student teaching with him in 2020. While student teaching, she was “able to see many different teaching styles” and see what she could “borrow for [her] own classroom.”
She said it made an easy transition into teaching full time because she loves the community and now knows a lot of the staff and students.
May of 2020, Ms. Paas was hired as a special education teacher, making 2020-2021 her first official school year working at Victor. I would think that starting in 2020 would be a crazy time as a new teacher, but Ms. Paas explained that since everyone had to adjust their way of teaching, she was in the same position as all of the other teachers. “It felt like a first year of teaching for everybody.”
While for most teachers the hybrid schedule messed up their plans, Ms. Paas appreciated the time to develop her skills, as she “was able to get used to what [she] was teaching and perfect it for that second group.”
Coming from a family of teachers, including her parents, sister, and grandfather, Ms. Paas always knew she wanted to be a teacher. “It was just something I fell in love with. When I would go with my parents to take your kid to work day I just saw the impact that they made and all the stories they had of the people that they met and were able to teach.”
As a student, I often hear other people say that they could never teach Middle School or High School. Ms. Paas obviously doesn’t relate. While she started college as an aspiring elementary teacher, she ended in high school. “There was something about working with teens that was really exciting to me. I think that teenagers have great personalities and there’s a lot of hurdles that people have to get through in high school and I just want to be able to help them get through it.”
So next time you see your average student teacher, case manager, or new teacher, appreciate what led them here and what more to them lies outside of our brick building; they could be a theatre-lover, an artist, or a sports fan, just like you.