Grown to Greatness

Brissa Prieto, Staff Writer

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Everybody knows this teacher for how compassionate and supportive she is with all her students and the staff at Weatherford High School. Yes, it is Mrs. Varnon, the young and energetic English teacher placed in upstairs H hall. Mrs. Varnon has made such an outstanding impact throughout her career and certainly with all in the WHS community.

 

To appreciate her more as a teacher overall, one must learn how much she wants to know about her students in order to be the most helpful to them. Of course Mrs. Varnon cares deeply about all her students.

 

“It’s important for me to know my students’ academic strengths, as well as the areas where they need to improve,” Varnon said. “I also make an effort to learn about my students interests beyond my classroom–that way they can write about the topics that interest them most.”

 

Without a doubt there is a reason why Mrs. Varnon is one of the most liked teachers. One of her strengths is that she understands how to connect with her surroundings and the people in it as well as “connecting with students, and working with students to become stronger writers.”

 

Her students from even years ago still talk about how great Mrs. Varnon is.

 

“She’s a really good teacher that encourages and challenges her students to reach their highest potential and she always makes learning fun and interesting,” said past student and senior Wiley Allen.

 

Furthermore, it is obvious her main goal as a teacher is to support her students and furthering their education is crucial.

 

“The best part is being around students and figuring out the best ways to help them find books that they love and to express themselves through writing,” Varnon said. “It’s pretty darn cool.”

 

Additionally, learning properly needs to include motivation as the key and that is very important to Mrs. Varnon.

 

“I try to find out what students’ interests are, and I make an effort to connect what I am teaching to those interests. Or, I try to find ways to differentiate assignments so that students can choose topics that interest them,” Varnon said.

 

All students know that each teacher has a different teaching style, but what about Mrs. Varnon? As said so by her “I think it would probably be better for my students to tell you that. I feel like a pleasantly odd and crazy teacher most days.”

 

Even Mrs. Varnon had to learn like any other student as she explained briefly, “I graduated from WHS in ‘03, and then I graduated Magna cum Laude from UNT with my BA in English in ‘07.”

 

Becoming such an impressive teacher isn’t easy because there are always bad days and packed schedules all day everyday. Managing time to get all teaching duties done within schedule is even difficult for Mrs. Varnon, though she seems like she has everything in order.

 

“That has been a great challenge for me, and one that I have incrementally improved upon over time,” Varnon said. “One simple strategy that helps me: I make to-do lists for everything, and I take great pleasure in crossing off even the smallest achievements.”

 

Yet, there seems to be more struggles when it comes to being a teacher and accomplishing the goal established can become frustrating.

 

“Not having enough time to do all the things I would like to, especially when it comes to conferencing individually with my students about their writing [is a challenge],” Varnon said. “Just not enough hours in the day.”

 

Ever wanted to know the worst day in class for a teacher? Mrs. Varnon’s is an interesting tale and nothing to ever imagine.

 

“In my first year of teaching, in 2007 or 2008, I had a kid get really angry and chunk a desk across the classroom,” Varnon said. “It clocked another kid in the head and took him down. The kid that got the desk to the head popped back up ready to do some serious damage to the desk thrower. Another student in the class had to hold him back while we called for admin. A banner day.”

 

A great teacher such as Mrs. Varnon has worked to be the best teacher she can be, especially as an influential English teacher who prepares her students for their educational future. She had a lot to say about the importance of English, showing that she deeply cares about what and how her students are learning about English.

 

“To keep it brief, let me walk you through the stages of learning “English”: 1. Everyone needs the basics of the English language in order to successfully communicate in our society. 2. After that, we need to know the more nuanced elements of the language, in order to be able to express ourselves with clarity and precision. 3. Once clarity and precision are mastered, ultimately, we need English in order to advocate for ourselves and others,” Varnon said. “Being able to read and write with depth and organization gives us the ability to fight injustice, both on a personal and a systemic level. *steps down from soapbox*”

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