Long-term substitute acclimates to new environment

Science teacher Rebecca Wilson adjusts to new occupation

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Long-term substitute acclimates to new environment

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson

Dani Orloff

When long-term substitute teacher Rebecca Wilson reflects on her temporary position at Park, it is not only a new class she is teaching, but also a new field to be working in.

Wilson said she did not get a degree in teaching until last spring.

“Teaching is actually my second career. I have an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry,” Wilson said. “Then I worked in the biotech industry for about 10 years and then got my teaching license.”

Wilson said this job opportunity serves as her first experience teaching in the St. Louis Park district.

“Last year I spent the whole year at South High School in Minneapolis as a student teacher and tutor,” Wilson said. “I am a long-term substitute, so (I’ve been in the district) 10 days.”

According to senior Jared Zirkes, Wilson’s progress displays her efforts to adjust to teaching.  

“I really like (Mrs. Wilson). She’s definitely different than (Julie) Schilz, but I think she is doing a really good job adapting to the teacher environment,” Zirkes said. “She has only been here for four weeks, but she has definitely made a lot of progress and she’s really becoming a good teacher.”

Wilson said her goal is to push her IB Biology HL students in class.

“I have senior biology students who are very smart and very capable, so my challenge is to challenge them,” Wilson said.

Wilson said her position is only temporary — Schilz will be back soon.

“She is out for three months on maternity leave, so she will be back in February. I am just a sub for her,” Wilson said.

Wilson said she will be taking Schilz’s place in the extra curricular activities Schilz participates in. Wilson said this includes involvement in Park Sci, where science teachers spend time leading projects at different schools in the district.

“I am doing everything that Mrs. Schilz did,” Wilson said. “I do Park Sci in the mornings, so I go to the elementary schools for STEM activities.”

Zirkes said Wilson’s energy to learn in a new job motivates her to succeed every day.

“I think that (Mrs. Wilson) is doing a really good job picking things up as she goes along. It is definitely hard to jump into a situation like this,” Zirkes said. “Whenever there is anything she doesn’t know, she is really good at remembering it, going home, coming back the next day and being able to explain it well to us.”

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