The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

New Teacher Feature: Mr. Austin

Chloe Bi
Stay tuned for more New Teacher Features to come!

This year, Arcadia High School (AHS) welcomes 15 new teachers to their staff. As tradition, The Arcadia Quill features each new member to the team. In particular, this article welcomes Mr. Andrew Austin for his first year at AHS.

Growing up in Central California, Mr. Austin lived in Clovis for most of his early life. After being accepted and attending the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Mr. Austin moved to Orange County, living there for his college years. Mr. Austin chose to major in biology, a science that he has always had a keen interest and passion for.

“I [actually] wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Mr. Austin said. “If anything, there were a couple things I knew I did not want to do, which was teaching and anything in the medical field.” However, an unexpected opportunity arose, giving light to a new path to set himself on.

“At UCI they had a program, a teaching credential where you can get your credential with your bachelor’s degree,” said Mr. Austin. “My first year, I took a couple of those classes, [and] I found that I really enjoyed all the creativity [and freedom] that goes into teaching, [as well] as just the enjoyment of having a job where you’re interacting with so many young people each day.”

Ever since, Mr. Austin has been teaching a variety of sciences, including AP Biology, Chemistry, and Biology. Previously, Mr. Austin taught at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

“It’s a really great school,” Mr. Austin said. “They’re a high performing sports school…there are a lot of similarities [between Arcadia and Buchanan], but there is definitely a more competitive atmosphere at Arcadia. It seems like academics have greater importance to students here, which is really nice to see.”

At AHS, Mr. Austin teaches both AP Biology and Chemistry Honors classes, both of which he has been teaching for eight years.

“In terms of content, the classes that I teach are hard,” Mr. Austin said. “AP Bio and Chemistry aren’t the easiest subjects, but I do think that my students overall would think that I work really hard to try to make it as easy as possible to learn and understand.”

As a new teacher to AHS, Mr. Austin naturally introduces new styles of teaching to the school. Mr. Austin uses a unique teaching approach for all of his classes, which includes pre-written notes and questions that he wrote himself for all his students. Mr. Austin compacts the information into detailed notes, rather than “assign[ing] pages and chapters to read from the textbook when…there’s certain things that students don’t need to know or some things that aren’t emphasized enough.”

“Ever since I first started teaching AP Bio eight years ago, I started working on these resources,” Mr. Austin said. “I do the same thing in my other classes…in Chemistry, we go through the information and examples [in the notes] together. In AP Bio, it’s a lot more independent, [and] a lot of that has to happen outside of class because of the pacing.”

In addition to these notes and questions, Mr. Austin also started creating his own lecture videos for AP Bio students. As mentioned by Mr. Austin, the AP Bio course often includes independent learning outside of class; to help his students further understand the class material, he began creating lecture videos explaining the notes and going through examples with the students. These additional resources allow his students to grasp a full understanding of the concepts that need to be learned, as Mr. Austin is always willing to give extra help and support when needed.

“An underlying characteristic that teachers need is to be understanding,” Mr. Austin said. “Sometimes, we forget that the people we’re teaching are people who have never learned [this subject] before. We get so used to teaching it that sometimes we forget how hard [the material] can be.”

When asked about the most important trait of successful students, Mr. Austin said that he believes in the power of perseverance in “not just students, but everyone. It’s just an instinct to want to give up anytime something seems a little bit challenging or hard. But as a student and learner, everyone’s going to encounter things that aren’t super easy…usually, the experiences that seem most challenging in life are the most rewarding, so it’s worth it in the end.”

We welcome Mr. Austin for his first year at AHS, and we are eager to hear more from him in the years to come!

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