Student teacher joins social studies department

February 2, 2010 — by Ben Clement

Second semester usually brings a few new faces to Saratoga High, but it is rare that any of those are among the faculty. That is not the case this year, however, due to the addition of new student teacher Jeff Scott, who has just taken over Rick Ellis’ third-period geography class and Mike Davey’s fourth-period World History class.

Scott, who grew up in Napa Valley, began working as a substitute teacher for the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District in early 2008 after graduating from Santa Clara University. It was through this job that Scott was able to meet principal Jeff Anderson.

“I was subbing for Mr. Boitz and Mr. Anderson came by to see him actually,” said Scott. “We got to talking and it turned out that Mr. Anderson had worked with and is very good friends with my high school government teacher who wrote my letter of recommendation for college.”

Anderson offered to help Scott find a student teaching position, an offer Scott graciously accepted.

“I didn’t find out until the end of the summer if it would work out because as a student teacher, I can’t be teaching AP classes, and there’s a lot of those here,” said Scott.

To prepare for the role, Scott observed his prospective classes and taught Davey’s fourth-period class a unit on Imperialism, which also allowed Scott to meet and familiarize himself with the students.

“The nice thing about the two classes I teach, is that the world geography students just came from health, so they don’t even know Mr. Ellis,” said Scott. “And while it’s a bit different in world history, it’s nice that the kids already know me.”

In order to allow Scott to establish himself as the teacher, Ellis and Davey do not sit in on every lesson, but rather every other class. They then offer advice or help Scott with any difficulties he may encounter.

Aside from the helpful mentors, Scott is also grateful for the determination of his students.

“All of my students seem to be genuinely interested in the lessons,” said Scott. “I’ve got friends in other schools who are dealing with kids who fool around in class or don’t come at all.”

Since almost all schools are laying off rather than hiring teachers in the current budget crisis, Scott is unsure when and where he will be teaching after receiving his credential from Santa Clara this June.

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