New teacher Shannon Walsh looks to engage math students through hands-on activities

Algbera I teacher Shannon Walsh shows her students how to find slopes in her seventh period. As a new teacher, she strives to engage her students in her everyday activities.

Celeste Haim, Writer

The school atmosphere erupts in murmured discussion and laughter as students enter the campus with loud voices and excitement.The first day of school causes students to erupt in chaos as they attempt to find their teachers’ rooms before the bell rings. Once the teachers and students settle down, both parties exchange introductions and officially embark on a new school year.

Shannon Walsh began teaching at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a first-year teacher for a freshman Algebra 1 class. She has a lot of passion for the education profession and is excited to work with students and teach at MSD.

Walsh is a new teacher; however, she has been involved in the education field as a substitute teacher for several years now. She has lived in two states.

“I am a native of Georgia. I was born and raised [there] so this is my first time living in any other state,” Walsh said. “Since I’ve moved to Florida, I really enjoy going to all the different parks.”

Walsh lived at a farm in Georgia, and spent most of her time in the barn. She had horses that she cared for as well. When Walsh is not caring for her beloved animals, she loves to spend time with family and friends, a top priority for her.

Walsh loves teaching and helping the next generation of students. She went to Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, which is located about three hours from Atlanta. After commencing her undergraduate studies, she became a substitute for two years.

“I was always told that I would make a really great teacher. So, I ended up pursuing it more and actually becoming a long term sub[stitute] and then a co-teacher and it just made me stick with the field,” Walsh said. “I just really like math…I am also very into science and English, so either of those would have worked as well, but algebra was what was available.”

As a new teacher, Walsh is figuring out how her room and class should be run. She has found a method that she likes, making sure to walk around her classroom to keep her freshman students engaged; she often does so by having them complete hands-on activities and ensuring they stay on task.

“I’m not sitting behind a computer. I like to ask the kids questions, call on them, and have them work with each other,” Walsh said. “If I have a kid who’s doing really, really well, I can have them kind of be my helper and walk around the class and help me with the other students. So [my teaching method is] very hands-on and keeps the kids engaged.”

Walsh loves to motivate and engage her students while encouraging collaboration. She likes to motivate them to keep their grades up and aims to have her students work to maintain a good GPA, especially if they want to enroll in a good college in the future.

“I love to have them do collaborative work. I actually really like a talkative class,” Walsh said. “I know that’s kind of different from a lot of teachers who like a really quiet class, but I love when my class is kind of talkative. Not so much loud and rowdy, but just very engaged. When they’re friends with each other, that makes them want to work together more.”

Walsh expects her class to be responsible and respectful. She believes they should be more mindful of their responsibilities and take control of their academic lives. She believes high school is the best time for students to keep busy and stay on task to develop life skills for the future.

Walsh also expressed her love for MSD and believes the staff are close together and supportive of one another. She said they celebrate birthdays together and she feels as if they are one large family.

“Mrs. Walsh is awesome. I’m also a new teacher. So we’re learning together-like all the steps. This is my second year as a teacher, but we’re new to MSD together so together, we’re jumping through the hoops and learning new things. It’s nice to have a little buddy,” math teacher Jaimie Reich said.

The math department considers themselves a big family, as they often help each other with responsibilities in school and hang out after school over bonding activities.

Outside of her job as an educator, Walsh loves spending time with family, friends and animals. She also loves to visit parks, where she can take her dog to explore the local environment and stay active. Walsh is excited to begin her journey at MSD and hopes to help all of her students succeed at MSD.