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The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

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Math substitutes take over for Gardner

Substitute+teacher+Jon+Murphy+helps+Rylynne+Murphy+in+his+Geometry+class+on+Sept.+15.+Murphy+had+been+part+time+substitute+teaching+at+MSHS+since+February+of+2001+and+recently+stepped+in+to+take+on+a+full+time+position%2C+co-teaching+with+Erich+Hoffmann.%0A
Cordelia Portman
Substitute teacher Jon Murphy helps Rylynne Murphy in his Geometry class on Sept. 15. Murphy had been part time substitute teaching at MSHS since February of 2001 and recently stepped in to take on a full time position, co-teaching with Erich Hoffmann.

Recently, two substitute teachers, Erich Hoffmann and Jon Murphy filled in full time for retired math teacher Julie Gardner. Gardner retired from Manitou Springs High School in May 2023, which led to two full time substitute teachers stepping in to fill her place.

Murphy has been a substitute teacher at Manitou Springs High School since February of 2001, and is familiar with many of the students. He is grateful for an opportunity to teach every day.

“It’s a very different environment, I’m obviously still a sub, but I can already kind of feel like a more regular teacher because I’m here every day,” Murphy said. “I’ve enjoyed embracing it and being here every day with the students.”

Murphy also believes that this experience may have him reconsidering what he’d like to teach in the future.

“I always wanted to try teaching math, although I hadn’t pursued it before,” Murphy said. “So I would maybe consider teaching math again, rather than only thinking about teaching music or English as a second language, which I’ve done before.”

The teachers are concerned that if they do find a permanent replacement, students may have a hard time adjusting to the new teaching style along with the shift from two teachers to only one.

“I think working relationships develop over the course of a few weeks,  so to start all over with a new face is a challenge; but certainly whoever they decide to hire for that position would be more than qualified,” Murphy said.

Students are concerned with this change as well. “I really think it depends on the student and how dependent they are on the teacher in their learning experience,” Kelsi VerVaecke said. “But I think some students will definitely find it difficult if teaching styles and assignment requirements change.” 

Students are hoping for understanding in their next teacher. “I think a good teacher is a teacher whose utmost priority is to help and be there for students, and one that can slow down or pick up the pace depending on how the class is leading a topic,” VerVaecke said.

More than anything, the current substitute teachers are grateful for this opportunity, and happy to stay as long as needed.

“My favorite part of teaching is just that sense of a light kind of going on when there’s that connection made, that we can collectively make happen with students and teachers,” Murphy said.

 

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Cordelia Portman, Senior Reporter
Cordelia Portman is currently a sophomore at Manitou Springs High School. She has four cats named Misty, Stormy, Ari and Sheldon. She enjoys playing Uno with her grandma, baking apple turnovers and playing the piano. She dislikes beds with less than five pillows. She is excited to use her love for writing to make an impact with the Prospector.
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