New Teacher Q&A: Shelby Stephans


Lauren Loftin, Reporter

Q: How is your first year at Vista Ridge High School going?

A: It’s going really well. I like my teaching team, [they] are very good at planning, they’re very supportive. I feel like the administration is supportive, and I really do like my students.

Q: What drew you to Vista?

A: I wanted to move to the Austin area. I have a friend who works in Leander ISD, and she talked very highly of Leander ISD. So then I found out Vista had an opening, and I applied.

Q: How many years have you been teaching?

A: This is my fourth year to teach.

Q: What subjects do you teach and why drew you to them?

A: I teach chemistry and physics. When I was in college I majored in biology, so it’s probably my favorite thing to study. But I really enjoy teaching chemistry, because I like having sophomores but also because it is a lot of math. I like being able to teach math where it’s just very concrete. The answer is the answer. It doesn’t waver, so two plus two will always be four. Same thing with physics, it’s a lot of math.

Q: What’s the most challenging part about being a new teacher?

A: Probably prioritizing things that should be prioritized, and being well prepared every day, for my lessons.

Q: Whats been the hardest change/ adjustment? 

A: I think at Vista there is a lot expected of our students as far as academics go, and so that hasn’t nearly been challenging on my part but it has been very different. So I feel like I am required to expect more out of my students than what I have in the past. Because since you were in kindergarten, your teachers have been expecting more out of you. At my last school, if I were to give them the same lessons and at the same speed, they wouldn’t be able to pick it up as quick as y’all can.

Q: Who inspired you to teach?

A: My biology teacher which is probably why I majored in biology. I took dual credit biology my senior year. She was just a really good teacher; she made it fun.

Q: What’s the most interesting fact about yourself?

A: I don’ know if this is interesting but, I am a Christian so I guess that determines what I do with my free time.

Q: What is your best moment so far this year?

A: I think anytime I get a compliment from a student about like a lesson or how they enjoy my classroom is great. I had a compliment from a parent saying that their student just felt really comfortable in my class, and it was rare for the student to feel comfortable in any class, so I think that was my best moment.


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