New English Teacher Ms. Flynn Winning on the Field and in the Classroom

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New English Teacher Ms. Flynn Winning on the Field and in the Classroom

Jenna Miller, Corresponent

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It is with great pleasure we introduce Ms. Flynn, Wantagh High School’s newest English teacher who teaches 9th and 11th grade classes. She also coaches the JV Soccer team.

THE WARRIOR: Where did you grow up and what was it like?
MS. FLYNN: I grew up in Mineola, which is located here in Nassau County. Mineola wasn’t such a diverse area. There were lots of people of Irish heritage, like me. I went to Catholic school. I played lots of sports, including soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I was also an avid reader, and I had a love for Harry Potter.

THE WARRIOR: Where did you go to college and what was it like?
MS. FLYNN: I went to Gettysburg College, in Pennsylvania. Gettysburg was a major site in the Civil War, so I saw lots of civil war reenactments happen. Ghost tours would even come to the college! I also traveled a lot – I studied abroad in Bath, England; Ireland; and Italy during that time.

THE WARRIOR: What’s it like coaching the JV Soccer team?
MS. FLYNN: It’s my first time coaching, so it is a bit challenging but at the same time, it’s really fun. The girls are really energetic, funny, hard-working, and enthusiastic. They also win a lot, which gives me a sense of pride and confidence. It’s nice to have a team made up of such skilled players.

THE WARRIOR: Have you ever taught before? If so, for how long and where?
MS. FLYNN: I have been teaching for two years prior to this one. Two years ago, I taught at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville; in New Hyde Park; and even here in Wantagh for a little bit. Last year, I taught in Herricks. English is my main specialty – I’m not really a math person or into any of those other subjects. I’ve had experience teaching English for grades 7-12.

THE WARRIOR: What made you decide to stick with Wantagh as opposed to any of the other towns you’ve taught in?
MS. FLYNN: Wantagh is such a great school district. It’s got a great sense of community, which is the main reason why I decided to become a full-time teacher here. I’m even still in contact with some of the kids of whom I taught here two years ago.

THE WARRIOR: How do you personally feel about Wantagh High School as a whole?
MS.FLYNN: It’s an extremely welcoming place, unlike any other high school I’ve ever taught at. The people, from the faculty to the students, are really open and friendly when it comes to meeting them. Everyone is very polite, hard-working, and does what’s expected of them. I also love how the teachers are a major part of the school community as well.

THE WARRIOR: What’s your opinion on your students?
MS. FLYNN: I really like my students. I enjoy getting to know them and their different backgrounds. I taught 8th grade in Wantagh two years ago, and I must say, the high school students of whom I currently teach are more “in tune” and kept up with what’s going on in the world than the 8th graders were. This is probably due to their older age and maturity.

THE WARRIOR: How do your students feel about you?
MS. FLYNN: I hope, and I am confident, that my students value and appreciate me. Sometimes they think I’m a “dork”, but I honestly don’t mind it.

THE WARRIOR: What is your philosophy on education and how does it influence your teaching style?
MS. FLYNN: I believe that you can never actually stop learning. There is always new information coming out. I like to incorporate relevant information about the current world and connect it to the curriculum during my lessons, as I feel it helps to actively engage students. I also feel that English is very important because when students learn the skills of text analysis, they gain the beneficial ability to view things from different perspectives.

THE WARRIOR: What is your vision for the future of education and how do you plan to influence it?
MS. FLYNN: I predict that in the future, education will be more about students exploring subjects and doing things on their own, using inquiry-based strategies to get to know subjects better. Curiosity is very important, and in this technological age, I feel that curiosity should lead the way. This year, I will be using inquiry-based lessons to help my students become more independent thinkers. Although, I do plan to adapt to the students, and by “growing with them”, I hope I will help them to grow too.

THE WARRIOR: Any advice you like to give to students that you want to share?
MS. FLYNN: Work hard, try to understand others’ perspectives and viewpoints, accept differences, be empathetic towards others, and, most importantly, always be open to learning new things.

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