New Teachers Part 5

Sierra Seay, Contributor

Mr. Meyers is another addition to the BFHS staff, teaching Honors and Traditional British Literature. Mr. Meyers has a Bachelor of Art in English and a Masters of Arts in English Literature from Arizona State University. Mr. Meyers has taught English for many years and has spent the past 27 years teaching at Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee. In high school and his first few years of college, Mr. Meyers focused his studies on math and science, planning on becoming a doctor, but changed his major in his junior year of college to english. Mr. Meyers says that what drew him to choose English was when he took a Literature class his junior year and was awakened to viewing books as works of art and finding the meaning and importance behind them. Mr. Meyers, after earning his BA and Masters, began to study Italian influences on the works of Shakespeare and in pursuit of this study, he ended up moving to Italy, and he learned Italian, taught English at l’Istituto Professionale Regionale in Aosta, and tutored deaf Italians and college students. When he returned to the U.S., he chose to teach English over Science, as he is certified to teach both, “because I never really had a good English class in high school. I figured I was not alone and decided to try to be a good English teacher.” Mr. Meyers, as a teacher, believes that “All students, no matter their innate talent, possess the capacity to reason and can become wise, if they so choose. To seek the Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in all things will result in a balanced and well-lived life. I try to help students to develop and hone these discernment skills.” He says his favorite part of teaching is the “aha” moments students have when they begin to understand what they are reading, as he says “I am a realist in many respects: I do not expect all students to become lovers of great literature.  However, I hope to get students to at least appreciate the truth, goodness, and beauty of the works we read.” Mr. Meyers, before coming to BFHS, said the thing he looked forward to most was growing as a teacher and embracing the challenge of learning and teaching BFHS’s Classical curriculum and Socratic method. Now, after being at BFHS for a few months, he says his favorite part of BFHS is “Opening Ceremony is a daily demonstration that young people can be respectful, thoughtful individuals.  Overall, I guess I like the fact that BFHS takes education seriously.  Most other schools do not.  They make excuses and expect little from young people.  Here, students are expected to behave responsibly and learn.”

Also joining the BFHS staff is Mrs. S. Meyers, who teaches ESS Science. She has a Bachelors in Special Education and a Masters in Advance Special Education from Northern Arizona University and a Doctorate of Education Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University. For the past few years Mrs. Meyers has taught middle and high school resource classes and has also served as a Special Service Director, Federal Programs Coordinator, and a 504 Coordinator. Growing up, she says her favorite subjects in school were history and geography, which can be seen in some of her hobbies including traveling, shopping, and being outside, as she loved learning about different and amazing places. She was drawn to teaching as a young adult when she “realized the importance of education and sharing knowledge I have. I taught Sunday School classes and was a Girl Scouts leader. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults.” She specifically chose to become a special education teacher because “I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children that otherwise would not have a chance. I want to help students reach their fullest potential and to believe in themselves.” This follows her educational philosophy in which she says she believes education is empowering and provides people with skills, values, and knowledge that help them solve global problems. She says she “aspires to instil a love of learning, analysis and critical thinking. It is important to create a classroom that empowers students to make decisions for themselves so that they develop self-confidence and thinking skills.” Before coming to BFHS she said she looked forward to getting to know her students and building a relationship with them along with tailoring her lessons to apply to how each of her students learn. So far, she says her favorite part of being here is “the climate and culture at Benjamin Franklin High School. The students at BFHS are amazing!….so friendly. I enjoy working for a school that strives for excellence in cognitive development along with emotional and social well being. I love that monthly virtues and weekly quotes are embedded in the curriculum and the culture and climate of the school. Benjamin Franklin High School embraces the qualities necessary for well being and happiness with a strong emphasis on moral and values. By having a different virtue addressed monthly this helps to build better lives leading to an understanding and acceptance between ourselves and those around us.”