How students feel after a beloved teacher retires

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A year in high school usually goes by fairly normally, with drama provided by teenager fights, bathroom issues, and more. Rarely would a teacher have to retire in the middle of the year, yet this year it happened. At the end of the first semester, senior English teacher Mr. Awwad retired. Students that had Awwad have many opinions about him. Some disliked his class for the amount of writing he assigned, and considered Awwad to be the hardest out of the ERWC teachers at Washington. Others thought he was the easiest: despite the timed writings, the assignments are only for the day, and not the week. 

Students will, of course, need to adapt to the new norms being brought into the classroom. Senior student Gurshaan Chahal says, “I feel sad that Awwad left on short notice, it would’ve been better if he retired at the end of the year, but now we have to adapt to a new teacher in the middle of the year. This will be hard for many of my peers, but we have to be ready to adapt and finish the year strong.” 

For many students it was their first time with Awwad as their English teacher, but for some it was their second because they had him for freshman English. According to Gurshaan, “After Mr. Awwad retired, I actually felt very sad because Mr. Awwad gave us a once-in-a-lifetime experience even though he made us write a lot. He was preparing us for college and the real world. I wish he was still here because he was an amazing teacher.” In some cases when a teacher leaves, a substitute takes over for the remainder of the year, and in some cases a freshly hired teacher takes the position. 

Now, a new teacher, Fatima Tayyab, has taken his place to prepare students for the future. Having a new teacher can feel awkward in the beginning; students may want the old teacher back. Others may want to hear out the new teacher. In an interview with senior student Jodh Khalsa, he states, “I’m not really sure how I feel, but I do know that with the new teacher comes new rules and class expectations. I do also believe that there will be a lot of changes in the curriculum compared to Awwad’s way of teaching.” New expectations are a given whenever a new teacher arrives, but students are expected to follow them as the year progresses. 

The new teacher, Ms.Tayyab, has a special challenge teaching both freshmen and seniors. “They’re totally different,” she says. “The freshmen are more chatty and slower to learn than the seniors, because the seniors are more seasoned and don’t require much to teach.” It’s understandable that new teachers will be stressed having to deal with two classes. Motivation is also something that will drive her towards our class’s success. Ms. Tayyab states, “A structured routine usually keeps me motivated, plus not stressing myself out throughout the day. It’s also my passion for literature that keeps me motivated. Truly doing something as a passion won’t feel like a job.” 

Although the environment, teacher, and expectations are different from the previous teacher, it’s still good for students to understand that the curriculum won’t change much apart from getting ready for college after high school. Mr. Awwad will surely be missed by all of his students, but we are welcoming in the new teacher with our utmost gratitude.

Nathan Vinoray is a Senior at Washington High School. He was born and raised in Fremont, California. It’s his first year on WHS Hatchet. He hopes to bring out some new topics to Hatchet. He enjoys doing a lot of things in his free time, like 3D modeling, creating personal films, and hanging out with friends and family. Nathan plans to join the Army within the next year or two while trying to major in Engineering and hopes to leave the US and live in Europe for some time.

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