Carolynne Neish is excited to teach English and speech and debate for her first year at Tigard High.
Q: Why did you choose to be an English teacher?
A: I chose to be a teacher because I wanted to serve others somehow. I find that to be the most rewarding work because no matter what you do for work, it’s hard. If your work hopefully involves lifting people up and making their lives better or richer, that makes all of the work worth it. English specifically, because I think that there is a lot of personal empowerment that can happen through using language. So I really hope to help people become forces for the good in the world and better knowing and understanding themselves through language. Plus, when you do look at other people’s stories that are fiction, they usually contain some truths that make it a little easier to bear the inevitable suffering of the human experience.
Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?
A: Honestly it’s the students; they’re everything. I am fascinated by my students. The way that their minds work when they’re learning is just so interesting to me. For me, work is all about relationships. The most important thing is just to establish a positive and healthy working relationship with young people who I admire a lot. I know it’s usually the other way around with students and teachers but I am in total awe of my students every day. Even when students have a hard day and maybe they’re acting out in class, I still just absolutely adore my students. They’re just kind of my world and I’m not just saying that.
Q: I heard you used to work at Lincoln High School; why did you decide to move to Tigard High School?
A: I went to Lincoln High School as a student and then taught there as a teacher, and it was time in my growth as a teacher to experience a different culture and climate to a high school community. I’m really thankful for my experiences at Lincoln, but with that said Tigard has so many of the values that I also hold in doing my work and I have been truly so thankful to be working here with everyone else that works here and the students that go here. It has just been a dream come true.
Q: Where did you go to college before teaching and what did you study?
A: For my undergraduate degree I went to University of San Francisco and I earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and religious studies, and loved it. Then I got my masters of arts in teaching from Lewis and Clark College.
Q: Do you like teaching Speech and Debate or English 1 more?
A: I have more experience teaching English as a subject and so there are ways in which I certainly enjoy that because it is less uncomfortable for me. Teaching speech and debate is a challenge for me professionally because it’s new for me, so I am currently leaning into the discomfort of doing something new and doing my best and knowing that I am still learning.
Q: How do you feel about Tigard High School so far?
A: I love it and I’m not just saying that. I feel like the administrators here share my values in terms of why they teach and how they feel about students here. My students are a dream, they’re really different from one another, they’re all super strong and talented in different ways and I’m really happy.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t teaching?
A: I really love exercising because it’s a huge outlet for me with my mental and emotional health in addition to my physical health. It makes me feel alive and strong and fierce. I am thankful to be able to move my body. I love spending time with my dog. He is a total goofball and makes me laugh no matter what the day was like, and I have an incredibly supportive family and friends that I love to spend time with because they’re just really high-value people and we keep each other going.