At Parkview High School, students, like any other high school, constantly complain about how hard and stressful their lives are, and how no one understands how much time school sucks up from their lives. Almost everyone is familiar with students’ routines because there are so many movies about students’ perspective of high school, but what do people understand about the teachers’ perspective?
In the movies, teachers are portrayed as the “bad guys,” but in real life, they are the heroes that pave the paths for their students’ lives. Teachers spend hours planning their lessons and grading papers. They also spend their own money to make their classroom a fun and safe environment where students will want to learn. Based on the bad reputation teachers get, why would anyone want to become one?
Laura Oliver teaches junior Language Arts at Parkview High School, and loves it. She has been teaching at Parkview for five years. Prior to teaching at Parkview, she has taught at other high schools in Michigan. She has taught all high school grade levels, but freshmen and juniors are her favorite to teach. Oliver states that, “the age and because [juniors] aren’t the oldest and aren’t the youngest, so they have the maturity level to understand what is expected of them, and they are still driven to do really, really well. I just absolutely love it.”
Oliver always wanted to go into a profession dealing with kids, and in high school she started to consider teaching. She says that, “I had an amazing language arts teacher, and I just adored her, and from that point on, I knew I definitely wanted to work with kids.” While Oliver knew she wanted to teach and work with kids, she did not know what grade level she wanted to teach.
The coaches and teachers that were constantly around kids, who changed their lives, including hers, inspired her. She goes on to say, “I want to be able to change and influence and motivate the students to do what they want to do in their lives too.”
Since her time at Parkview, she says, “The students are very kind, and I think they are generous, so I really like it here. The best experiences are the relationships that I form with all of my students because every student is different and unique, and they have something to offer me, and I can learn from that. It’s the most rewarding thing about being a teacher.”
Oliver is a teacher that really, truly loves her job and each of her students. She is a teacher that her students can trust and will remember forever. She is a teacher that is not only making a difference in her students’ lives, but also the Parkview community.