New Teacher Feature: Heather Harvey

     “The very first thing that opened my eyes to Northwood was [Ms. Faris],” said Heather Harvey, an English teacher who is new to Northwood this year. “She’s a very good friend of mine, and we started at [Southern Lee High School] together. She came here and said what a great school it was, so I did my research and talked to some people. This is just such a great school academic-wise, student-wise, activities, everything is just really, really top notch.”

    Harvey came to Northwood with five years of teaching experience from Southern Lee High School in Sanford. Harvey received her undergraduate degree at Fayetteville State University and is currently enrolled in a graduate program at Appalachian State University. On top of being a new teacher, Harvey also shares a classroom with fellow English teacher Sabrina Beasley.

    “It’s difficult [sharing a room]. I do kind of wish I had my own room,” Harvey said. “They made it so the first half of the day, I’m in my room, and the second half of the day I go out, so it’s not too bad, and [Ms. Beasley] is really sweet.”

    Besides the inconvenience of sharing her room with another teacher, Harvey notes that many other aspects of her experience at Northwood have been good ones.

    “The most positive difference [between Southern Lee and Northwood] for me so far is the accountability aspect, because where I’m coming from the teacher is responsible for everything,” Harvey said. “Here, more responsibility is put on the student versus the teacher, and it’s a lot more balanced.”

    When asked her reason for choosing to teach high school students, Harvey responded that there was no “profound” reason why she became a teacher.

    “My first two years of college, I was actually a Psychology major, but I realized that wasn’t practical because my husband was [in the] military, so we’d be moving around a lot,” Harvey said. “I was trying to think of an alternative career, and I had always really loved English and literature… and I guess it just kind of hit me one day that I should teach that passion to kids.”

    Harvey then went on to say that her favorite part about teaching is the connections she makes with her students.

    “I don’t like the grading,” Harvey said. “[But] I love the connections. I love building relationships, which hasn’t come here yet, but I’m sure it will. I love getting kids excited in the classroom.”

    Beyond a passion for teaching, Harvey mentioned her love of analyzing literature.

    “I love not just reading a book, but getting into the nitty gritty of ‘what was this author trying to say? What does this author believe about the world and about life and how does that connect to us?’” Harvey said. “We’re doing the Epic of Gilgamesh right now in my English II, and that was written over 2000 years ago, how cool is that?”

– By Sawyer Davis