New History in the Making

American+Government+teacher+Alexander+Edwards+lectures+to+his+students.+%22I+believe+it+is+important+to+make+an+impact+during+your+time+on+Earth.+Teaching+high+school+gave+me+the+best+opportunity+to+do+that%2C%22+Edwards+said.

Braden Dennis

American Government teacher Alexander Edwards lectures to his students. “I believe it is important to make an impact during your time on Earth. Teaching high school gave me the best opportunity to do that,” Edwards said.

Braden Dennis, Photography Editor

With the wild start of the new school year, many new teachers have found themselves joining the Nixa school district. Although the conditions for their first year are not ideal, they are working to make this year a good one despite the coronavirus.
Alexander Edwards, a new Government and Cabinet teacher, said the Nixa school district piqued his interest.
“I wanted to be part of a winning district that had high expectations for the students and faculty,” Edwards said.
Edwards’ transition into the new district was impacted by COVID-19.
“[Moving to Nixa] has been strange, but the district is very welcoming and kind, [which made] the transition easy,” Edwards said.
Edwards, like all teachers, has had to alter his methods of teaching because of the pandemic.
“I have always been a paper-and-pencil kind of teacher,” Edwards said. “But with COVID impacting our daily instruction, I decided to build my course completely virtual, something I am not used to.”
Despite the odds, Edwards said he hopes to equip students with the skills they need to progress into the next stage of life.
“My biggest challenge as a teacher has always been, and always will be, finding the right balance between teaching the things necessary for students to be successful on the state level exams and teaching the things I think you need to know for the next stage of life,” Edwards said.
Scott Miller, a new World History and Government teacher, has regarded Nixa for many years as a competent school.
“I’ve been an admirer of Nixa Schools from afar for many years,” Miller said. “My cousins went to school here and competed athletically for the Eagles and I was always impressed and amazed at the facilities, the support from the community and atmosphere. I always wanted to experience those things firsthand.”
Miller said he wants to be known for more than just teaching to his students, but to also be someone they can come talk to and look forward to seeing every day.
“The thing I love the most about teaching is forming great relationships with my students,” Miller said. “I want my classroom to be a place that students enjoy going to and I want to be a teacher that students look forward to seeing each day.”
From a young age, Miller knew that he had wanted to be a high school teacher.
“High school is when I developed my desire to teach, and the teachers that I had in high school were my most memorable and had the most impact on my life,” Miller said. “I knew that high school was where I belonged due to those things.”
Jennifer Stammers, a new Choir and Piano teacher, had similar experiences.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to work with a high school choir in a classroom setting,” Stammers said. “My high school choir director was the most influential teacher I’ve ever had, and I wanted the opportunity to be a positive influence for the choir students at Nixa.”
Stammers said she enjoys her teaching and the special moments that it brings.
“I love those ‘aha’ moments, when something finally clicks and students are approaching their singing from a new place of understanding,” Stammers said. “It’s the emotional connection that brings joy to my day.”
Even with the COVID-19 situation, Stammers has high expectations for the school year.
“Nixa’s excellence is known from all over the state. … I couldn’t miss the opportunity to be a part of such a stellar choral program,” Stammers said. “But wear your masks so we can keep doing the things we love most.”