For students who do not enjoy their English classes, they may be surprised to find that are in good company. New Chamblee Charter High School English teacher Samantha Turk was once in their shoes. Although Turk now teaches ninth grade literature, she did not always have the same love for English as she now does.
“In high school, I hated it, which is super ironic,” said Turk. “It was my least favorite subject because of some of the teachers that I had.”
She had enjoyed her English classes up until that point, but something changed once she began high school, at least, until her later years.
“I had some great teachers that kind of picked it back up for me my senior and junior year,” said Turk, who understand the large impact a teacher can have on a student’s opinion about a subject.
Now that Turk teaches English, she sees the subject as an easy way for students to express themselves in ways that other subjects do not allow.
“I know that I am biased…because I am an English teacher, but it is the only subject that allows students, typically outside history, because history kind of allows this a little bit, but it’s the only one where, a lot of time there’s not a definitive answer,” said Turk, who believes that citing evidence and thorough explanations gives students the ability to defend their own opinions.
She explains that by being a teacher, she often sees each student’s stylistic individuality before they might even realize it.
“Everyone’s got a different voice. No one’s sounds the exact same on paper,” said Turk. “A lot of students don’t see that though, because they don’t typical read their friend’s writing, so they think that everything looks like a photocopy.”
Besides writing, Turk has a love for reading.
“My favorite book is The Great Gatsby. I know that is a classic book and so it sounds so stereotypical of an English teacher to say that. That was the book that kind of got me back into it my senior year, so it’s stuck with me. I love Fitzgerald’s writing. I love the wordiness that he uses. He’s a beautiful writer,” said Turk.
While she’s not teaching English, Turk is coaching softball during the fall season.
“I played softball in college and I played for ten years leading up to that so I was ready for that when I was asked to coach,” said Turk.
Outside of school, Turk remains busy with a variety of hobbies.
“I love anything that can get me active, so hiking and running,” Turk said. “I love running, yoga, reading of course, movies, food.”
Although Turk has only been at Chamblee for a short period of time, she has thoroughly enjoyed her time here.
“I love the freshman academy. All the teachers are really close knit just because we’ve worked together so often. It’s just been wonderful.”