by: Ayisha Surani

Students at Godwin can name a list of things that set their school apart from any other– from the one-of-a-kind school spirit at football games to the academic rigor in AP classes. A perspective that is often overlooked, however, are the ones from the teachers who are new to Godwin.
Sophia Dy and Dave Coppage are two first-year teachers who believe that student interaction is what makes Godwin so special. “I have enjoyed how the students respond to suggestions and guiding recommendations. To know that I have been heard, even if I am sometimes ignored, is rewarding,” Coppage says. Dy enjoys student interaction on a personal level. “I want to know at least one thing about my students like their interests,” Dy says.
On the other hand, Allison Zoldork and Jason Golos find that the community that they get from Godwin and the support they find from it are what sets Godwin apart. “I have found that Godwin works on the happiness of its staff,” Golos says. “There is good support and consistent recognition for the work they do.”
Although Golos is about to finish his first year at Godwin, he has been teaching for much longer than that. At his twenty-ninth year of teaching, he admits that there are some challenges that will never go away. “It is always a challenge to figure out the best way to deliver content and still work on broader skills, such as critical thinking and articulation of ideas,” Golos says.
Although many teachers are beginning to leave the nest, there will be more to come in the upcoming years. Golos, who has insight from the English department, says, “My advice for future new teachers at Godwin would be to reach out to your colleagues for support. It was clear from the first week that the English department prioritizes collaboration.”
Dalen Isom and Coppage also had similar things to say about how to survive a first year at Godwin. Coppage says, “If you don’t know, ask! If you think you know, verify. If you are positive of a situation, ask anyway! Many schools have similar rules and expectations, but the way each staff acts upon a situation varies greatly.”
Dy, however, had a different take on the most important thing a first-year teacher at Godwin should know. “My tips are to be yourself first,” Dy says. “I try to incorporate my personality into my lessons, in order to help my students best understand the content.”
Zoldork says that the biggest key to thriving in the classroom is patience. “Everything takes time but you will figure it out by trying new things and seeing what works best for you and your students.”

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