Ethan Boots and Ian Kelly | Staff Writer
Whiteboards line the walls in the classroom. Bookshelves stock the corners of the room, and there is no shortage of book posters. This is the work environment of English teacher Lauren Widbin.
Widbin has been teaching for a little over 10 years but this is only in her second year at CGHS.
“I’ve just always wanted to be a teacher. I never really pictured being anything else,” Widbin said. “I love kids and I really love helping people, and so teaching is really the best combo of those two things. Even today I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Before coming to the high school, Widbin was a language arts teacher at Middle School North. Although Widbin is relatively new to the high school, she has been teaching for a long time.
“I taught five years of 7th grade and five years of 8th grade, and then I came up here to the high school, so it was a natural transition with the age of the kids,” Widbin said. “Last year I taught freshmen and my freshmen were still very much like they were in 8th grade, so it didn’t seem like much of a difference.”
Widbin was not only a teacher at Middle School North, she was also the director for drama club. Widbin has been avid fan of theater ever since she was little.
“All through my childhood through up to college, I was a part of dance, singing and theater, and it was something I really loved,” Widbin said.
With so many musicals and plays under her belt, Widbin still has her favorite.
“Into the Woods, the play we are doing right now, everyone knows it’s one of my favorites, but I love all of our shows. It’s hard to pick one that has been better than the rest,” Widbin said. “But I loved Aladdin because it was a challenge, I mean you have to make the magic carpet and the genie. I also loved when we did Annie because it was a special year in terms of the choreography we did with the show.”
Widbin’s love for “Into the Woods” was just one reason in her first year as Drama Direct at the high school that she chose to perform this musical.
“During auditions, it became clear that the original show, She Loves Me, we picked wasn’t fit for the kids. The variety of characters is greater and the number of featured characters was more.”
While Widbin loves all the aspects of theater, the ability to work with students outside of the classroom is also important to her.
“First the music, I mean we have different shows, different time periods, different cultures, different people, and how the music just brings people together” Widbin said. “But I also love the kids who try things they might not be comfortable with entirely, and just stepping outside their comfort zone.”
Although Widbin knew many of the students from middle school from both class and drama club and she was familiar with how they learn, her transition to the high school has caused her teaching style to change.
“I started in middle school and moved to the high school, so my teaching style has adjusted a little bit because of the age of the students,” Widbin said. “But also I think, the longer you teach the more you start realizing what is working for the kids and what isn’t. And then it starts getting more natural to you.”
Every teacher’s style is different. For Widbin, teaching isn’t just her job; it’s her passion.
“I just love teaching and I hope that I can make an environment where kids love coming here,” Widbin said. “That’s ultimate success to me.”