The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

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“It Was Right Place, Right Time”: Ms. Sherman on Joining Oakdale Mid-Semester

Ms.+Sherman%2C+in+her+Oakdale+spirit+wear%2C+poses+with+a+sign+on+her+classroom+door+that+reads%2C+%E2%80%9CEveryone+is+welcome+here%2C+everyone+belongs.%E2%80%9D
Jonathan Castle
Ms. Sherman, in her Oakdale spirit wear, poses with a sign on her classroom door that reads, “Everyone is welcome here, everyone belongs.”

Ms. Kathryn Sherman joined the Oakdale High School English Department under unusual circumstances: the amicable departure of her predecessor at the end of the first marking period. Facing the uphill battle of taking over a class mid-journey, Ms. Sherman rose to the challenge with inexorable energy, years of experience, and a willingness to improvise, welcoming students to a colorfully fresh environment. 

 

“I double majored in Secondary English Education and English with a concentration in Literature with a Theatre minor,” she recalled. “Then I got my master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Instructional Excellence. Straight out of college I taught high school English and theatre for eight years; I taught advanced placement English for five years, and I was an AP grader for three years.”

 

Despite her experience, Ms. Sherman’s arrival at Oakdale was simply a product of coincidence: “[After a change in life situation, I had to return to teaching and] I happened to be in touch with someone who had a good working rapport with the head of English Language Arts for the whole district. My friend said, ‘Let me put you in touch [and] see if we can get you an interview.’ And [the head of English for the district] got my name two hours after she found out Mr. [Stephen] Campbell was leaving.”

 

Even with the unorthodox introduction to the position, Ms. Sherman felt that it didn’t alter her approach: “Coming in half-way through [didn’t] really impact my teaching style, because, the best thing that I could bring to this classroom is my genuine self. That has always been my strength in the classroom: my ability to form relationships with my students, to let them see that I genuinely care about them as human beings. I was fortunate in where things were left at the end of the first marking period that I could walk in with a blank slate and pick it up from there.”

 

 Junior Scott Seiver compared, “Ms. Sherman is very energetic and works us pretty hard at times, while Mr. Campbell was generally more laid back. Ms. Sherman is a good teacher who creates a caring and accepting environment in which she gives valuable feedback on assignments and grades them in a timely manner. It’s nice to know what you need to improve on and see grades in real time so that you don’t panic about grades last minute.” 

 

Ms. Sherman last taught in the classroom in 2013. Since then, she explained, a lot has changed: “There is far more technology now than when I left the classroom. Things like Schoology are completely foreign to me. I see a lot more willingness in students to do things like guided notes and follow formula, which might be a product of distanced learning. 

 

“But one thing that is not different,” she continued, “is the core of humanity in school. You still have teachers who care desperately about the well being of their students and who try to make it the most welcoming and inviting and engaging place that they possibly can. And you still have teenagers, who are my very favorite people to teach, who are going through a time of incredible and explosive growth and change, and your world is turned upside-down and inside-out. And if I [, as a teacher,] can be a port in the storm, then it’s just so incredibly rewarding.”

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About the Contributor
Jonathan Castle, Editor
Jonathan is a Junior at Oakdale, in his second year of Journalism. He enjoys playing Trombone in both jazz and concert ensembles. He also loves watching and writing about classic movies, in both critical and historical contexts. He is very excited to be returning to the Oakdale Post this year!
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