Science Department Replaces Two Teachers

Science Department Replaces Two Teachers

This winter, the science department suffered from the unexpected absence of three veteran teachers. Independent of each other, Ms. Jenkins, Mr. Hubbard, and Ms. Schulman were all replaced by substitutes. Ms. Schulman is back to teaching, but Ms. Jenkins and Mr. Hubbard have retired, and new permanent teachers have taken their places.

Across classes, students were left grasping for explanations. Ms. Jenkins’ class had the most notice, because the school psychologist Dr. Channel came to talk to the class and explained that Ms. Jenkins’ husband had passed away. Later, she gave the class a week’s notice that she was “retiring early.” Meanwhile, Mr. Hubbard and Ms. Schulman left without warning.

Jackson Shaffer, a student in Mr. Hubbard’s 5th period Chemistry class, was frustrated with the situation.

“We had no warning. Parents had to call [the school] for a week before a letter got sent home saying [Mr. Hubbard] retired,’” said Shaffer.

Ms. Schulman described a similar experience saying neither her nor her students knew she was leaving.

Each group of students had a different experience with substitutes. Jackson Shaffer was disappointed with how little progress his class made and recalled teaching them one day.

“I ended up teaching [the periodic table]. I looked it up [online] and showed them,” said Shaffer.

Ms. Schulman was also concerned about how far behind the class was in the curriculum, particularly her AP Chemistry class. She says that the month she was gone was virtually “lost” and that she had to drop an entire unit from the G/T Chemistry midterm.

However, students seemed relatively happy with Ms. Lala, the long term substitute for Ms. Jenkins.

One student said, “We just kind of went with the flow,” and others mentioned the numerous labs they did with her in class. Now, students have a permanent teacher in place, Ms. Mulhern.

Ms. Schulman summed up her opinion to the class: “You had to learn on your own, sorry kids, that’s out of my control.”

Like the other classes, in the end, she says “the kids didn’t care [why I was gone], they were just glad to not have subs any more.”