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The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Physics teacher Ellen Polster juggles different aspects of teaching

Science+teacher+Ellen+Polster+prepares+work+and+lesson+plans+for+her+students+during+her+free+period+on+Nov.+20.
Photo by Lea Weinstein
Science teacher Ellen Polster prepares work and lesson plans for her students during her free period on Nov. 20.

Physics teacher Ellen Polster recently transitioned to teaching physics this year while also continuing to teach chemistry from the previous year. She is currently teaching both subjects with multiple class periods for each subject. She wishes to continue to grow and be an effective teacher to support her students and their interests.

Her inspiration to become a teacher came from multiple sources. “My mother was a retired teacher” and “I became interested in teaching during college, after doing an internship with an adaptive PE class at a nearby high school,” Polster said.

Her education in college was important to her as it sparked her interest in teaching and gave her more of a reason to become a teacher as she was in a student’s shoes. She earned her “undergraduate degree from UMBC” and her “graduate degree from George Washington University,” she said.

The environment of the school and the teaching experience are important to her. “I love the students at Wootton. I teach really nice students and many of them thank me at the end of class,” Polster said.

She said that she likes the students’ commitment to school and her class specifically. “My students come in for extra help and are invested in doing their best and they treat one another with respect.”

Especially when starting to teach a new subject, she hopes that she is a good teacher for her students. “Teaching is a career in which you are always growing, learning, and improving. I feel like I am a better teacher than I was 10 years ago and I hope that next year I feel like I’ve improved in my teaching from where I am now,” she said.

There are ups and downs to teaching. “I certainly have days where I feel like I’m doing a better job than others,” Polster said.
But, she is proud of her ultimate effect on students even after they graduate. “I am most proud of the fact that every time I’ve run into a former student out in the community, they always greet me with a smile and want to tell me what they’ve been up to. They seem genuinely happy to see me,” Polster said.

Alongside teaching, she juggles the responsibility of sponsoring various clubs and providing support for her students throughout the day. This takes up her class time but also her advisory, lunch, and after-school time. “I currently sponsor the College Admissions Club, Neuroscience Club, Opportunity X, and Wootton Researchers,” Polster said.

She also has a busy life outside of school with things unrelated to grading or teaching. “I enjoy going to the gym, hiking, and spending time with my two dogs,” Polster said.

Even in retirement, she wishes to continue to stay this way with her hobbies and life. “I hope to continue being active and to continue being outside and to enjoy nature,” Polster said.

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Matthew Xu, staff writer
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Junior Matthew Xu is a staff writer in his first year on the Common Sense staff. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, lacrosse, and spending quality time with his friends. You can find him on Instagram @matth3wxu.
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