Teacher Transitions

New Teacher Makes Move from Middle to High School


Luke Pitts

Alma High School English teacher Kimberly Dickens instructs her 7th period students. Dickens recently made the move from Alma Middle School to the high school.

Luke Pitts, Staff Writer

This year, a familiar face reenters the life of many Alma High School students. Kimberly Dickens, former Alma Middle School social studies teacher, is a new 11th grade teacher and is now instructing many of the same students she taught in the eighth grade. This time, however, she is teaching English, which may be jarring to those who know her only as their beloved history teacher.

Dickens, though, feels like the transition will be smoother than one would think. She believes English is much closer to her previous subject than what it initially seems, saying “I feel like Social Studies and English are really correlated. There’s not a huge difference except for adding the historical context.”

Pullquote Photo

I feel like Social Studies and English are really correlated. There’s not a huge difference except for adding the historical context”

— Kimberly Dickens, Alma High School English teacher

Even with the similarities, there is some getting used to with the new subject matter. One of the largest differences she mentioned was one of the things she was most excited about, actually. In Social Studies, answers are objective. There is usually a right and a wrong answer. In English, however, answers are subjective and student’s opinions can shine through more. Dickens anticipates friendly debates in her class, and she can’t wait to hear her kids’ many diverse ideas.

As for the transition of schools, Dickens says the campus of the high school is much larger and spread out, so staying in touch with her new colleagues is more difficult than in the compact middle school. The daunting task of coming to a new school was thankfully mitigated, however, by Dickens’ previous experience in the school district and the general friendliness of the staff here at the high school. The faculty is making sure Dickens feels welcome to the family. Multiple members have offered any help she needs as she adjusts to the AHS atmosphere.

Dickens urges students not to treat her classes like they are eighth grade classes. She is teaching both Advanced Placement Language and Composition and American Literature, and she warns that her courses will be rigorous and will blindside some students who expect it to be like eighth grade.

Dickens is excited for this school year and feels like it will be a continuation of her role in molding the young minds of AHS.