First-time teacher embraces new experiences with students

For many of us, new experiences can be frightening, but for new Blake science teacher Mr. Jin Lee, along with the nerves, came excitement.

Starting this year, Mr. Lee teaches the subjects of chemistry and matter and energy to a group of freshman and sophomores at Blake. Besides being a student aid and having co-teaching experience prior to working at Blake, this year has been Mr. Lee’s first experience as a real teacher.

He says, “The fact that I actually had my own students, standing in front of my own classroom, that itself was pretty nerve wracking.However, teaching soon became second nature because Mr. Lee claims he had always known that he wanted to enter the field of education.

He says, “There wasn’t this exact moment but it was basically assumed that I was going to dip my toe into the field of education in college.” He tutored throughout high school, interned at other schools, and did student teaching at the University of Maryland.

Not familiar with the Silver Spring area, Mr. Lee didn’t know what to expect of Blake. However, when he arrived he was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and students. He says, “I had a chance to go around the hallways and see what the school was like and I saw that there was a lot of artwork so it definitely resonated what the school was about.”

Mr. Lee related to many of his ninth grade students, who are in their first year of high school, saying, “They’re very nervous…my job is to try to relax them, try to introduce them to the culture of high school.” He makes an effort to form non-academic relationships with his students.

“The first impression of the staff was actually pretty surprising and it really resonated with the fact that it’s an arts school.” he says. According to Lee, on one of the staff development days, Mr. Berry along with two others sang in the ampitheatre. He says, “I’ve had a lot of support from all other teachers who were teaching the same content as I did.”

From being nervous to being comfortable, Mr. Lee is very pleased with his first year. He says, “I like this school, and I would say that mostly because of the students that I have.” He also says, “I am really satisfied with my first year especially talking to other teachers and other colleagues that I have at other schools.”

Now that Mr. Lee has conquered the first year, he offers some advice to other first year teachers. He says, “I would tell them two things: first be resourceful and secondly I would make sure to develop relationships with my students.”