Teachers Talk Cool Classes

Cato Abbott

Welcome to Teachers Talk Cool Classes (TTCC)! This is the article in which I, Cato Abbott, interview some of NorthStar's coolest teachers! (But let's be honest, they're all cool.)

Teachers! @_@ Scary, right? While some teachers might be a little scary at first, a lot of them are really chill! A conversation with a teacher can be a lot of fun, so invite one of your teachers to a chat and get to know them. Don't be shy--just try!

For this September edition, I will be interviewing Mrs. Anne Bartlett.

Interview With Mrs. Anne Bartlett

Cato Abbott: How long have you been teaching at NSA?

Anne Bartlett (Teacher): I am just finishing my second year with NSA and looking forward to the new school year that starts next week. :)

CA: Nice! How did you go about becoming a teacher? Did you have any childhood influences?

AB: One of my favorite teachers was my 11th grade English teacher, and now--not surprisingly--I teach English. I took a roundabout path to it, though. I majored in English, and then I got a certificate of Biblical studies. After that, I got my master's degree in teaching ESL and finally started teaching after that.

CA: Wow, that's quite the variety of studies! What brought you to teaching online at NSA?

AB: My daughter was a NorthStar student for her last 3 years of high school. That's how I got to know NorthStar. She got a really good education with NSA, and her teachers were so supportive. At the end of those three years, the school asked if I would be interested in teaching English fundamentals. I was very interested! And the rest is history. :)

CA: Is your daughter Gabrielle Bartlett? I think I remember seeing her article in the 2014-2015 Navigator....

AB: Yes, she is! That's so funny that you remember her! I'm actually visiting her right now. She used to write about nature, and today we just went for a beautiful hike. She still loves nature. :)

CA: That's cool! And it's neat that she kinda brought you to NSA! And we're glad she did. ;)

CA: What NSA classes do you teach?

AB: Thanks. :) I just teach one class, English fundamentals for middle school. I also teach full-time at my local Christian school, though. There, I teach 11th and 12th grade English as well as a class about human development.

CA: Sounds like you're busy with teaching, then! What's your favorite thing about teaching/the classes you teach?

AB: It's hard to pick just one favorite thing, but one thing I really like is having students all over the world. They teach me about the places they live, and I like having connections with people in so many different places. I think one of my favorite things about the course itself is the literature that we read. There's nothing like a good story. :)

CA: I agree! What is your favorite genre of literature? (Or favorite book if you can pick just one!)

AB: I read a lot of mysteries, just for fun. I also like nonfiction books, especially if they are more story-like. In high school, I liked The Grapes of Wrath and The Scarlet Letter. I think it's interesting that some of the things I really didn't like back then are books that I find very interesting now--and vice versa!

CA: Hm, that's interesting--I love mysteries as well.

CA: What is some advice you would give to new and returning students starting the new school year?

AB: That is a fantastic question! I think it's very important for students to get to know each other. As you know, there are different ways to do that: the Navigator, student council, and various activities. School can be more rewarding if you are able to connect with other students. And on the academic side of things, I would encourage students to work through the whole course without rushing or skipping over things. There is valuable information in there! :)

CA: That's great advice! And as a Student Council member and Navigator writer, I can definitely attest to the greatness of FirstClass. ;D

AB: Yes, I'm sure! I've heard students say that they wish they had gotten involved earlier in their NSA years so they wouldn't feel isolated.

CA: That's interesting. Thanks for sharing!

CA: And now it's time for this month's reader's question: what were some of your childhood hobbies?

AB: It's probably not a big shock that I used to read and write a lot. ;) Other than that, I did gymnastics for a couple of years, played the piano, and was very involved in my church youth group.

CA: Sounds like fun!

CA: And finally, I'm introducing a new section to Teachers Talk Cool Classes! What is a question you would like to ask the students?

AB: I think I would ask this: What would you like us to add to our courses to make them more interesting and more helpful to you? We genuinely want you to learn and to enjoy learning! :)

CA: Speaking as a student, I know it would definitely be helpful if we actually communicated that stuff more. I'll collect the answers from students and let you know what they answer!

AB: That's awesome! Sometimes there are small things we can do that would make a big difference. We just need to know what those things are.

CA: Well, that's all the questions I have! Unless you want to add something, of course. =)

AB: I think that's about it! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. I look forward to reading your articles!

Cato Abbott: Thank you so much for being this month's interviewee. It's been great talking with you!

Anne Bartlett (Teacher): You too! Have a good day. :)

There you have it, folks! What do you think of this month's interview? I found it cool that Mrs. Bartlett's daughter used to also be a writer for the Navigator! Mrs. Bartlett also gave some great advice for both new and returning students. How would you answer her question?


Thank you to Mrs. Bartlett for being September's interviewee! Thank you for the student participation that enhances this article, and special thanks to Delaynee Kamenski for making this article possible!