All posts by Karen Romero

Pajama Fiasco

      Homecoming week started in pajamas. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see pajamas? For me and most of Chaparral High School’s(CHS) students, it’s sleep.

      Designed as a way of building up excitement for the CHS Football game which was on Friday the 12th of October, Homecoming week engages students in school-administered fun activities. The first day being Pajama Day.

      Pajama Day or breaking-dress-code and lazing-around Day? According to CHS student Ana Raza, “It just makes concentrating harder to be honest.” Many passionate kids that come to school to get a good education were distracted by fuzzy slippers and goofy, bright pajama pants. Is this so called “Pajama Day” good for CHS’ students’ spirits or is it just a big distraction? The increase in students social participation in Pajama Day leads us to the assumption that Pajama Day has some sort of advantage for students other than enabling them to wear a slightly more comfortable attire. CHS teacher David Bennett voiced his concern with students’ lack of work during the week of the homecoming game, “I felt like a lot of students were slacking off about their assignments, they weren’t following through, it’s like they were waiting for someone to do the work for them,” says CHS’ welding teacher.

      We like to think the best of students, but students participating in a school event just to get out of class or have extra time on assignments is not the most unthinkable thing ever

The Newbie on Campus

Samantha L. Soltero, known by students as Mrs.Soltero, is Chaparral High School’s newest and youngest English teacher. She worked as a middle school writing teacher in Phoenix, AZ.  “I loved working at my old school but my husband and I needed to move back to this area,” said Soltero.

Soltero was born in El Paso, TX. She went to UTEP, where she majored in English with a minor in secondary education, “When I get asked how long I’ve been teaching, I always say ‘more than one year, less than 10.’”

“I had plans on being a teacher since I was in middle school,” she says. Part of her inspiration to become a teacher was two of her high school teachers. She says she even tries to base her own teaching style off of them. Soltero’s teaching style seems to be working, “She’s nice, gives formal education and has proper techniques to be a teacher,”  says senior Jose Robles who has her during sixth period.

“I would say my strengths as a teacher are building a positive classroom environment and organization. I get excited about assignments and occasionally plan more than what is realistically possible,” said soltero.

Being a teacher affects her personal life only in the time she spends at home grading or planning. Soltero says, “Luckily, I have an awesome family that listens to my crazy ideas when I am planning my next assignment.”

Soltero has a husband and three dogs. She has strong opinions when it comes to sharing your personal life with the students. She says “It’s good to let students see teachers as human rather than some creature that lurks in the school at night, building relationships creates that positive environment that I was talking about which makes the classroom a place to learn and take educational risks.”

To become a better teacher, Soltero wishes we had a block schedule, “To have that extra time would mean I could go further in depth with a lesson and explore what the students are struggling with.” She seeks to help students reach a deeper level of understanding. Either way, she is very happy with her job, even if it’s not exactly the way she would’ve liked,  “I honestly have no idea why this spot was available; However, I am extremely grateful to be here and to be teaching my favorite subject.”