Taylor Warren: Teaching as a calling and connecting with students
High school teacher Taylor Warren may only be in her second year of teaching, but her dedication to and passion for teaching is unmatched
A high school teacher at AM Consolidated, Taylor Warren kicked off her teaching career amidst a global pandemic. Very much starting in the deep end, it's certainly been a challenging start for Taylor, but undeterred, her unwavering positivity in the face of adversity is impressive.
Taylor comes from a family of educators and always knew she was going to become a teacher. However, unlike her parents, who were both English teachers, Taylor felt the pull towards math. "I always joke that my teenage rebellion was wanting to become a math teacher," She says. Now, she teaches Algebra 1 and Advanced Algebra 2 to freshmen and sophomores, and her sheer excitement and enthusiasm for teaching shine through.
While crediting her department for their support and mentoring, Taylor has also learnt a huge amount through her Social Emotional Learning team and her professional development on restorative practice. Taylor says that both have helped her learn that teaching goes beyond just math and that it's important to check in on her students' mental health and extracurricular activities. "We have students who come to school, and it's the safest eight hours they have all day," Taylor explains.
For Taylor, it's crucial to have positive energy in the classroom and help her students understand that she's preparing them for life after her class - whether that's AP statistics or life after high school. Taylor finds that focusing on math's real-world applications and using anecdotes is helpful here.
A central focus of Taylor's teaching is communication. Reflecting on her favourite moment as a teacher so far, Taylor mentioned one struggling student who had been called into a meeting with the assistant principal, counsellor and a specialist. "We were trying to understand how to help him best, and when asked 'where do you feel safe?' he said 'Miss Warren's class.' I had to tell myself not to cry!"
Taylor's message to teachers out there is: "It's not an easy calling, but it is a rewarding one. These kids need love right now and a glimmer of light in a dark world."