Archive for Thursday, October 13, 2005

Second-year teacher adjusts to ‘culture shock’ of larger school system

October 13, 2005

When math teacher Christina Hoverson decided to come to Lansing, she knew she wanted to work in a larger school. But she says she's still adjusting to the fact that her classes here are, in some cases, 20 times larger than classes at her last school.

"It's a little bit of a culture shock, but I'm adjusting," she said.

Hoverson, who teaches algebra, came to Lansing High School from Kickapoo Nation School in Powhattan, where she said some of her classes consisted of just one student.

While she was in college, Hoverson worked at Golden Eagle Casino in Horton, which she said exposed her to the Kickapoo culture. When she graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, KNS had an opening for a math teacher, so she took it.

But her long-term plans were to work at a bigger school. One reason, she said, was the community - at her last school, she was the math department; at Lansing, she's part of a six-member team.

"Everyone wants to grow professionally," she explained. "I have a better chance to do that surrounded by other mathematicians and more experienced staff."

Hoverson worked at KNS for one year. She said she began researching Lansing's community and schools and looking at "everything involved" in teaching here. After studying Lansing, Hoverson said it was her No. 1 choice.

"When I came here, they said it was the best school in the state. They're putting up one good argument," she said. "It's a great school."

So far, Hoverson said the biggest problem she's encountered at LHS was being mistaken as younger than she is.

"I was doing summer school, and the janitors thought I was a student. They wouldn't let me in the office," she said.

On the flip side, Hoverson also said she can relate to her students because of her age.

"I'm younger, so I still kind of understand high school," she said.

Hoverson said she hopes to influence her students to succeed in not only math but in life.

"No matter what you teach, you want to teach your kids to make the best choice," she said.

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