By Trevor Andrews, reporter
English Language Arts instructor, Roger Holsinger, is leaving Senior High and going back to what he began teaching almost 10 years ago.
Holsinger began his teaching career at Bayard High School teaching English and speech. He then taught for two years at Minatare Public Schools focusing on English, speech and journalism.
This fall he will be teaching those subjects at West Point-Beemer High School.
Holsinger began his teaching career at GISH in 2016 and taught junior English. He then began teaching journalism classes and was the advisor for the school newspaper, “The Islander.” Four years ago he became the yearbook advisor and has spent many hours documenting the activities happening at Senior High.
He said that when he decided to change careers and become a teacher he wanted to “be a positive influence” and make his students productive members of society.
“I hope I’ve had a positive impact on some students,” Holsinger said. “Sometimes I can be a little corny when I’m making puns in class, but I hope I will be remembered as someone they (the students) enjoyed having as a teacher.”
His first year at West Point-Beemer will mark his tenth year in teaching. He said he knows that he will be teaching a required speech class to sophomores, probably a junior English/American Literature class and possibly a duel-credit class in communications through Wayne State College.
Something Holsinger said he hopes his students have learned is the impact writing can have on others.
“I hope I’ve instilled students with the love of writing,” he said. “Writing is fun and it can be an escape plus if you’re good at it, it can be profitable.”
Before becoming a teacher he spent about 20 years as a journalist; 15 of those years as the assistant editor at the Star-Herald in Scottsbluff.
“I wrote a few thousand stories, took at least that many pictures and filled in when the editor was gone. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed it.
“But I also saw the writing on the wall – pun intended – that newspapers were not going to last and so I went back to college with the idea of becoming a teacher.”
Holsinger said that he is at a point in his life where he needed to “start a new chapter” in his life.
“I have some good friends at this school, and I’m going to miss a lot of the teachers here.”
He said, through his years at GISH, he has learned that all students are different in the way you are supposed to teach them.
“I don’t think there’s a one size fits all type of way you teach students,” Holsinger said.
Something that would have helped him earlier in his career would have been being on “block” as a teacher in which he would have been at a school learning classroom skills. But while still taking college classes, Holsinger was hired at Bayard High School with very little teaching experience.
“Instead, I went in blind thinking I knew how to teach. I learned a lot that first year,” he said. “I think if I had a little bit more classroom experience, and knowledge about what needed to be done, I would’ve been a better teacher those first couple of years,” he said.
If Holsinger has some final advice to not only aspiring teachers, but also students, he said it would be patience and that learning can be fun.
“I think it’s also important to have some laughter in class. Life is too short not to laugh once in a while,” he said.