English department resource teacher and friendly face Nicholas Hitchens works hard to help students in the best way he can by creating strong personal relationships.
Hitchens has been teaching at the school for 14 years, and during his years he has taught a variety of classes. Hitchens has taught ninth grade on level and honors English, 10th grade on level and honors English, 11th grade honors English and AP Language and Composition, 12th grade read 180 and history of rock and roll.
Hitchens has learned what his favorite class is because he has taught such an extensive number. “I like teaching AP Language and Composition the most because the quality of discussion is really good and I love the books, The Things They Carried and The Great Gatsby,” Hitchens said.
After being a classroom teacher for 13 years, and applying, interviewing and getting the position of English department resource teacher, Hitchens is prepared and qualified for the role. He has become skilled in time management and organization. “As a resource teacher, I have two extra planning periods so I can do administrative things. I at least try to do one period a day of planning for the next day or week. I also schedule a period for making copies, answering emails, etc.,” Hitchens said.
Hitchens has learned how to approach teaching different types of students. “I try my best to have strong personal relationships with my students so I can better understand individual needs and once you have a handle on that, checking in and having conferences is really helpful,” Hitchens said.
The most important tip Hitchens has for teachers is: don’t condescend to students. This has been appreciated by his students as they find him to be a trusted adult. “I always feel so comfortable asking for help or advice because he always makes time for his students and he is always willing to help,” junior Erin Chang said.
Hitchens makes time for his students and because of this they see a big improvement in their writing skills. “At the beginning of the year, I was pretty confused on how to write the different essays we need to write for the AP exam, but after working hard in class I feel way more confident and prepared,” junior Adam Soloman said.
As well as creating better writers, Hitchens creates better people. “Over the course of a semester, I was told what would help me become a better writer and not just what would get me the good grade. This new kind of mindset has changed the way I feel about my other classes as well, and I am very happy about it,” Chang said.
Other English teachers in the department feel Hitchens is doing a great job as the new resource teacher, “He is great. He is doing a great job and we feel really supported by him and he seems like he is willing to fight for us in terms of our schedules and when things take place so we are not overwhelmed,” teacher Zack Lowe said.