Greetings to Ms. Gonzalez
Starting off the 2021 and 2022 school year Apex has had drastic changes accommodating for Covid, staffing, and policies. Most students are very attentive to new policy changes and rules regarding Covid, but with an abundance of new teachers, they’re easy to overlook. In order to learn more about new teachers here at Apex we’ve covered a series of teachers throughout the year. This time it’s Ms. Gonzalez’s turn for the spotlight.
When thinking about people that are born and raised, Ms. Gonzalez is a perfect match for that description. She spent her childhood growing up in Sanford and even recently bought a house there. And yes, that does mean she commutes every day from Sanford to Apex. Ms. Gonzalez has two other siblings, and admittedly she prefers her young sister. One surprising fact about her is that she loves poetry. She explained that if she were to get famous for something she would want it to be for her poems. Outside of English and poetry Ms. Gonzalez likes to bake, but acknowledges that there’s a difficult learning curve, as one little mishap can ruin a recipe. In addition to baking, she’s a very outdoorsy person. She explained her ideal day as waking up early and going to the mountains to hike, meditate, and camp with a friend because she believes the mountains to be a spiritual place. If you’re more of a homebody, Ms. Gonzalez regards American Horror story as one of the best shows made. And if that’s not your cup of tea, her comfort show is Schitts Creek. The show is about a rich family who suddenly go broke, and as a result they must learn to live just like “normal” people again. Ms. Gonzalez really appreciates how the show goes about portraying diversity and inclusivity as one of the main characters is pansexual.
As you may have guessed from her love for poetry, Ms. Gonzalez is an English teacher. Although she originally planned on going down the psychology route, she realized that the people who’ve influenced and helped her the most have been her teachers, and now she’d like to do the same with her students. She followed through with her ambitions and went on to major in English with a concentration in secondary education at North Carolina State University. Fast forward four years and she’s already taught at Southern Lee High School in Sanford for 3 years and now just recently at Apex High in January. When asked about what sets her apart from other teachers she explained that it was her sense of humor and ability to form relationships with students. She values being able to laugh and connect with students in order to be that teacher students look forward to seeing, and doing work in their classes. Ms. Gonzalez thinks it’s important to make learning feel fun and not like a chore, so she often changes up activities and work given day to day in order to keep it fresh. Ms. Gonzalez was also very adamant about the importance of mental help. She was very clear about making sure if a student feels overwhelmed they can express that with her and she’ll give leeway to assignments as long as it’s reasonable.
As for adjusting to her new life at Apex she explained that it’s been very interesting and there’s a lot of change from her old school to here. One very notable thing she’s had to get used to is not having one designated classroom as some of her classes are on the second floor and others are on the third floor. Another pleasant surprise she’s experienced at Apex is the culture of the school. She appreciates the motivation of students in her classes and is adjusting her teaching style to accommodate to the new atmosphere of the school. As for her classes, she currently teaches English IV and English IV Honors, but hopes to teach an elective class such as creative writing or even a whole new course that essentially mimics a book club. As for advice to upcoming seniors in her classes and high schoolers in general, Ms. Gonzalez emphasized the importance of being able to use your resources properly. Although she’s not directly promoting the use of outside parties such as Spark Notes she thinks it’s better than not having any information at all. If there is something serious that is keeping you from being able to read then read a Spark Note summary of the piece of literature so you’re not lost and clueless during class assignments or discussions. Overall, the main takeaway Ms. Gonzalez wants students to leave with an understanding of the importance of literature. She believes that words have power and that you should try to keep up with modern and old literature here and there as life imitates art so does art imitate life.