Goodbye, PA – Chemistry Teacher Jordan Turner’s departure from her first teaching experience

Ana Costanzo

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As the 2019 school year dwindles down to exams and students begrudgingly attending final classes until summertime, MYP and AP Chemistry teacher Jordan Turner has yet to begin untacking her posters from the walls and gathering her belongings as she prepares her departure from PA to Ocean Lakes High School (OLHS).

“I went to the Math and Science Academy [at OLHS as a teenager] which is what I will be teaching,” said Turner, further explaining her alliance with the school. “It truly has been my home my whole life.”

This familiarity coupled with the mother-daughter dynamic will burgeon at OLHS as Turner teaches alongside her mother Kathy Turner who is head of the OLHS science department. It should offer new mastery of teaching skills through the side-by-side workmanship accompanied with teaching with “one of the top chemistry teachers in the city,” according to Turner.

Since the age of five, Turner knew of her dream for teaching, her mother undoubtedly influencing such a career aspiration. Never has Turner “second-guessed wanting to be a teacher,” her love for school and education prompting her to graduate the College of William and Mary with a set career in mind.

Fortunately, there was an immediate job opportunity which arose as Turner advanced from college. However, it was not a call from her home school, but from PA, a job which she readily accepted because of its location in Virginia Beach and its quality education.

Having four years of experience teaching at PA, Turner acknowledges the community which surrounds the building. “The majority of the student body respect teachers and make this building more than just a building,” said Turner. “It’s a bigger community than just come in here, go into school, and then go home because you see people here all the time at don’t leave—ever… that is unique to here which you truly cannot find in many places.”

Educating at PA has adapted her teaching habits to mold into appropriate methods which target the students’ age group. “If you’re not learning from your students, then you’re not really teaching them,” said Turner after addressing such adaptation as well as the freedom which accompanies her classroom as she expands upon topics students find interesting, applying real-world problems and connections as her own technique for instructing.

Although going to OLHS will be a homecoming for her, Turner departs PA with an uncertainty as to whether “the grass will be greener on the other side.”

“Change is always good and bad… I could get there and hate everything about being at a different school, so I’m not happy to leave, but I’m excited about the opportunity… [its] one of those bittersweet feelings.”