Walking into room 602, you are met with an unfamiliar sight. A brunette woman sits in place of social studies teacher David Orphal staring intently at her computer.
Holly Roper is a “floating” teacher, which means she does not have her own classroom this semester and rotates between other teacher’s classrooms. This is due to Northwood’s overpopulation throughout the school.
“It’s actually worked out really well,” Roper said. “Everyone whose classroom I’m in has been great.”
Roper presently switches between new social studies teacher Adam Lutterloh’s and Orphal’s room.
Roper, one of Northwood’s newest history teachers, teaches American History at the standard, honors or college prep levels. She ended up here as a first year teacher.
Roper grew up in Rutherfordton, a small town in rural North Carolina. Its diminutive population of 4,222 did nothing to hold her back from her dreams. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching. Roper did her required student teaching in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools.
Coming from a different school system, Roper describes Northwood students as less consumed by their education, whereas in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools students are “overwhelmed by academics.” Roper stated that the change in scenery between the two school districts is because of the intense competition in academics in Chapel Hill and Carrboro schools.
Roper describes her experience at Northwood so far as “welcoming.”
“Everyone is very helpful, the other teachers are very helpful, the students seem very focused on their studies and just being involved in things,” Roper said. “The department has been really nice.”
Roper describes her teaching style as ‘collaborative learning’.
“[It’s] breaking things down into smaller pieces, or having students in small groups focus on one piece or doing a jigsaw-type activity and sharing knowledge with other students so that students are not overwhelmed with the sheer amount that they have to do,” Roper said.
– By Tanner Althoff, Ava Johnson and Zoe Willard