New educators adjust to life at OHS

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 1, 2019).

This school year, Oviedo High School students may notice a few new faces standing up at the front of their classrooms. With new teachers comes exciting new learning experiences and these new educators say they are ready to bring their unique teaching styles to the students here at OHS.

Allison Fudge and Heather Clayton are two of Oviedo’s eighteen new teachers.

Allison Fudge teaches English II and taught at University High School before she came to Oviedo. For Fudge, the most difficult adjustment was feeling new.

“The biggest thing is feeling like the new kid in school. Just like kids are new, I feel new too,” Fudge said. “So going to the first week of pre-planning and not knowing anyone who you’re teaching with is a little nerve-racking.”

However, the friendly staff helped ease her nerves.

“I would say it feels very welcoming, everyone in the English department eats lunch together, and everyone’s been very friendly, so that’s a bit of a change,” Fudge said.

Heather Clayton teaches Biology. Before teaching at Oviedo, she taught at Seminole High School for eight years and at Seminole County Virtual School for four years.

Clayton agreed with Ms. Fudge that the friendly staff at Oviedo has made her transition go smoothly.

“The faculty has made me feel really welcome and they’ve just been helpful with getting me the things that I need that I don’t have anymore because I have been out of the classroom for a few years,” Clayton said. “The other biology teachers have helped me so much so that’s been great.”

Clayton said the biggest adjustment has been switching from virtual to face-to-face teaching.

“Transitioning from virtual to face-to-face classroom, it’s a little bit weird,” Clayton added. “But I like it, so I’m happy to be back in a class where we can do labs and activities.”

Overall, Clayton is most excited about teaching a face-to-face classroom.

“I have already been enjoying group activities and labs, that kind of thing,” Clayton said. “Just being able to hang out with people.”

However, having come to Seminole County from Orange County, Fudge has had different experiences with how things are run throughout the school.

“In Seminole County, and at OHS, I think teachers have more flexibility for teachers to do what they think is right, where at Orange County, you are more told to follow specific things,” she explained.

This flexibility allows Fudge to teach in a way that makes sense to her.

“I can do more here because I like to stay very updated and not teach the traditional English way,” said Fudge. “I think some of the books we read are outdated, I think I can get kids more involved in reading and writing by teaching poets and authors that live now, and talk about things that they’re interested in.”

Fudge is hopeful that her teaching will reflect her own happiness.

“I felt like I needed something new and I was worried that I wouldn’t love it here, but I do,” Fudge said. “I feel like I am more my authentic self in my classroom, which I think even more changes the vibe for my students; if your teacher is unhappy, it’s not very fun.”

Both teachers agree that the students are what make teaching at Oviedo unique.

“I feel like students are great at all schools, but there’s something I think [that is] special about Oviedo. I feel like, with the students here, they seem to be like a family,” Clayton said. “Students all get along really well here and so I think that’s a unique thing to Oviedo.”