Stephanie Watson’s career took a brief detour before she eventually became an English teacher in Norwalk.
She went into college wanting to be a teacher. But that was before observing one who was “really burned out from the system,” Watson says. She was told there was a lot of paperwork involved and things not related to teaching you had to do.
So Watson switched gears. She tried journalism.
“I wanted something for me that felt more fulfilling,” she says, a job that made a difference.
She even dabbled in work related to teaching. But going back to teaching was always on her mind.
So Watson began the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Simpson College.
“Once I started at Simpson, I instantly knew that this is where I want to be,” Watson says.
Today, she’s teaching English 9 and Advanced English 9 at Eastview 8/9. The Mississippi native says she loves many things about working in the Norwalk school district, including the wonderful people she works with, the supportive administration and the kids and families.
It’s those interactions with students that are her favorite part of the job. The interpersonal aspect of teaching really fits her personality and makes her excited to go to work every day.
“Teaching, like coaching, involves understanding another person well enough to help them build on their strengths, increase their proficiency in areas of weakness and then establish a sense of confidence and self-efficacy so that the person can take the skills/ideas/perspective he or she learns in my classroom into the real world as life-long learners,” she says.
Watson has high expectations of her students.
“But then I try to balance that with a curriculum that is meaningful and relevant to my students’ lives and is relevant to them once they leave my classroom,” she says.
If there’s one lesson that her students leave her classroom with, she hopes it’s a greater sense of how to examine, evaluate and interact with the world around them.
“Overall, I want my students to be critical thinkers who can filter through what the world throws at them and then be able to develop and communicate their own sense of meaning to others,” she says.