Back in the Classroom

Buchanan Returns Following Throop Student Teaching

Friday, October 29 was the first official day of eighth grade English teacher Mariah Buchanan’s teaching career at PHS.

While it was her first day as a teacher at Paoli, it is not her first overall. Buchanan graduated from PHS in 2015. From there she attended college at Indiana University Southeast.

In 2019, Buchanan graduated with two degrees after only four years of college. She received her Bachelors in Spanish and English. These degrees allow her to teach both language and literature, as well as to translate.

“I chose to study English and Spanish because they are broad areas of study and didn’t force me to stick to one career path. I was unsure of what I really wanted to do, and these degrees have opened many doors and opportunities for me,” said Buchanan.

One of these career paths was teaching, and as of the beginning of the school year, she was hired. Buchanan was completing her postgraduate program at the time and as a result, was required to
student teach for 10 weeks.

She taught with fourth grade teacher Liana Baker at Throop for this duration. Since Buchanan was occupied with doing so, a substitute was necessary to cover her position until she was finished. Coupled with these responsibilities, Buchanan was tasked with creating lesson plans for her classes, wrestling coach JD Emerick filled in for her.

“[While student teaching,] I learned a lot about the foundations of reading and writing that will help me better understand the needs of middle schoolers in my English class,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan is now licensed in several different areas. She is certified for teaching K-5 Elementary, 6-12 Language Arts and K-12 English as a new language.

Buchanan has had several jobs through the years that have made teaching seem like the perfect fit for her. She has worked as a reference librarian which entailed helping students and anyone else who needed it with their research. In addition, Buchanan was a literacy tutor at Mt. Tabor Elementary School in New Albany during college. She taught many homeschooled students Spanish as well, along with English Sign Language for international online companies.

Buchanan’s desire to help her community led her to choosing this path. Her passion for reading, writing and literacy have made her look forward to this new job as well.

“I’m most excited about sharing my love for reading and writing with others,” said Buchanan.

Now that she is officially in her own classroom, Buchanan has her students working on strong argumentative writing, including text evidence and using citations correctly.

She hopes to provide a foundational curriculum for her students in this first year that they will be able to build off of in the future. As of next year, Buchanan plans to create different units that are more fun for students to learn from and will better engage them in reading and writing.

Story by Masden Embry

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