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New Math Department Teacher Erin McCarthy Impressed with WHS

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by Audrey McClatchie

Here at Walkersville High School we have a wave of  new teachers each year.  Within the math department, algebra teacher Erin McCarthy has joined the WHS staff team.

After going to the University of Delaware and teaching middle school for two years, McCarthy made the leap to teaching high school. When asked what the major difference was, she bluntly admitted, “The maturity level. Oh my gosh. The difference between a 7th and 12th grader is astounding. The work ethic as well.”

Even though McCarthy is experimenting with a new age group, her love for teaching math is as strong as ever. “I love teaching math because I love watching students understand something they really struggle with.” she explained, “Math is very abstract. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense right away.” And for many students, they would agree. “Having those ‘Aha!’ Moments is the coolest thing ever.” This being McCarthy’s third year, she is as passionate in math as ever.

Every teacher has their own principles and values, and for McCarthy it is honesty. “It’s better to be upfront with your students” she explained, “Having those dialogues and being open to what kids say. I think [that] is the best way to get them to do your work and to build a relationship with them.”

In McCarthy’s Algebra Two class, her students agree that their teacher is supportive and understanding. “She encourages you to at least try,” said junior Delaney Adkins, “and if you still don’t get it, she will keep trying different ways until you do understand.”

Besides teaching, McCarthy has many other interest and hobbies including taking walks, reading horror stories, “especially Stephen King,” and visiting national parks whenever she can. But of course near the top of the list is Netflix. “I LOVE Netflix,” she admits, “Netflix is a hobby of mine, [and] it’s a very important one.” Despite being a math teacher, McCarthy also has a soft spot for music. “Growing up I was very musical,” she said, “so I still like to play a couple of different instruments when I have time for it.”

When going to a new school, the anxious anticipation can be induced in new students as well as teachers. However, McCarthy is already loving Walkersville and all the diversity. “I just love the character off the students,” she exclaimed, “There are so many different personalities here, and I have enjoyed getting to know every single one of my students.”

In McCarthy’s room, there are multiple drawings of boats on white boards, the marks of some silly students in her classes. Instead of seeing this as a problem, McCarthy saw it as an insight. “It’s really amazing that they feel comfortable to be weirdly expressive through boats,” she commented with a laugh, “Getting them to be goofy and silly around me, that’s something very special.” Therefore, she wouldn’t want to erase the little boats that show the great relationship between her and her students.

Be sure to welcome her to Walkersville High School!