Many teachers and counselors are new to Santa Barbara High School. When interviewed, they talked about the different things they enjoy about teaching, most just enjoyed helping students and making them feel safe. This article takes a closer look at these new teachers, how they came to become teachers, and what they think about in person school this year.
When I interviewed Mr. Shingle, a Math teacher, he talked about how he cares about his students’ well-being. He said “the math aspect of class isn’t as important as helping young people become responsible young adults.” He first started teaching in 2008. Before coming to Santa Barbara High School he taught for a year at Santa Barbara Junior High and Goleta Valley Junior High. He said that one of his goals for this year is to survive and to help all his students to pass Math 1. He states that a typical day for someone in his position looks like waking up at five, making sure he is ready for the day, his slides are ready to go, his worksheets are all printed out. He then responds to emails and arrives at school around 7:30. Mr. Shingle shared that the reason he became a teacher was because he was inspired by his family, and he thinks it’s a great way to improve the community.
Mr. Da Silva has had extensive teaching experience, and has been teaching since 1977. When asked why he first decided to become a teacher, he responded saying, “At first I decided to be a teacher because I loved history and was a History teacher for about 20 years, but I did it because I loved history. Once I started being around schools more and started being in a middle school I just loved the energy and teaching kids what I thought was an important subject.” Before he came to SBHS he was teaching at Miller Middle School in Durango, Colorado. When I asked him what his goals are for this year he said “My goals for this year are to learn how to be a Special Education teacher and learn the best ways to get students to think and the best ways to get students to get good grades.”
Ms. White is a new counselor this year, and she’s been counseling since 2018. I asked her what her goals for this year are and she responded with, “my goals, I think, are just to connect with students and make sure I can be a great resource to them… planning their futures and just graduating all of our seniors and getting them set up with their plans with next year to succeed and do well in whatever they plan to do.” She thinks that there isn’t really a typical day for her but she usually has lots of meetings with students to figure out how to best help them. The most frustrating part of counseling for her is not being able to fix everything. The best part of counseling for her is when she knows that she has been helpful and a good advocate for students. She decided to become a counselor because she feels like counseling is a really unique opportunity to support students.
Mrs. Boutros, who is also one of our new counselors, became a professional school counselor in 2015. She worked in Catholic schools and a public school district. She shared that her goals for this year are to grow professionally. She usually doesn’t have a typical day but something she does daily is checking and answering emails. She decided to become a school counselor because the college process was difficult for her and her family because she was a first generation college student.Her counselor was very helpful so she decided to pay it forward. And the best part of counseling for her is being around the kids.
Another new counselor we have is Mr. Ramos. His goals for this year are for the students, he said “to learn a lot from my peer counselors that we have here, they are awesome and great support staff, so to learn from them and to support all my students on my caseload and students outside as well.”. He said that there usually isn’t a typical day for him and meetings can go anywhere for him but something that is pretty constant for him is going through his emails. The best part of counseling for him is the students and helping them through difficult times they’re having and working with them to meet their goals.
Mr. Briseno is also a new counselor here at SBHS, although he has previous experience working with junior high students. Before Mr. Briseno started working in SBHS he was working in Santa Ana. His goals for this year are to get to know more students and help students to learn more about colleges and careers. He wants to help students to get to know more about life after high school, and start looking towards the future. He decided to become a counselor because when he was in high school he “did not have mentors that could help me out, so I didn’t have a lot of information about college and careers. I decided to be a counselor to make that change.” He also wants to be a resource for students and make sure that they know what they want to do for their future.
Throughout the questions most of the teachers and counselors mentioned how important it is for them to help their students succeed. They know how important their students’ well-being is. All in all, we are glad to have the best new, or not new, counselors and teachers in our school.