The student news site of Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO

Katie Switzer, biology and animal behavior

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: This is my first year teaching, so three weeks.

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I went to Missouri Baptist University, and I have my undergrad degree in biology and I’m getting my masters in teaching.

Q: Why did you decide to come to GCAA?

A: I never wanted to work where everyone else wanted to work, and… here at GCAA, there are all these different people that come from all these different areas, and they make up this one big, big family, and they have a passion—an artistic passion—that isn’t focused on in other schools.

Q: What is your goal for your classes and your students?

A: I think the most important thing—my goal for my class—is for it to be a safe place; somewhere people want to come regardless of whether they take my class or not, and that we can hang out, we can get to know each other, and they find a safe place here. For my students, my goal is for them to not memorize the information, but to understand it, so that they can be successful beyond biology.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about GCAA so far?

A: I think my favorite thing is the people I have in my class—the students—because, boy, do they have some crazy personalities. They have so many awesome qualities that I think we can hone in on as teachers, and I think the school allows them to come alive.

Q: What do you hope to gain by teaching here at GCAA?

A: I just wanna have a good year. They say that your first year of teaching can be challenging, because you’re focused on curriculum and other things, and I just want to be focused on building relationships that last longer than a year.

Q: How long do you think you’ll be staying at GCAA?

A: What I will tell you is that I thoroughly enjoy being here. I leave every day and I am excited to come back, and I think that it’s important to build a foundation, and in order to do that I have to plant my roots somewhere. I have to plant the seed and it needs to be watered and it needs to be taken care of, so that’s what I’m doing; I’ve planted myself and now I’m gonna watch myself grow. I don’t think we should put time limits on things. There isn’t a limit, because who knows what can happen? But I’m excited for what’s to come.

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