Former park ranger joins seventh grade language arts staff

Maggie+Mason%2C+a+former+park+ranger+with+exerience+in+psychology%2C+teaches+students+about+language+arts.+Mason+is+one+of+several+new+teachers+at+Sevier+this+year.

Mik

Maggie Mason, a former park ranger with exerience in psychology, teaches students about language arts. Mason is one of several new teachers at Sevier this year.

Cali Groenewold, Yearbook Editor

From park ranger with a passion for psychology to Sevier’s newest teacher, Maggie Mason brings a variety of experiences to her new job.
Mason decided to become a teacher because she enjoys learning, has always loved school, and wanted to share that with others.
“Before I became a teacher, I worked as an interpretive park ranger and in psychology in the school system,” she said. “I studied Psychology and English together in my undergraduate work and realized that it was what I wanted to do.”
During her experience in psychology, she felt like she did not get to work with the students often enough.
Mason, prior to teaching at Sevier, was a high school ELA teacher in Scott County, Virginia. She enjoyed her time there.
Mason leads an active lifestyle in her spare time.
“I enjoy hiking, reading with my kids, and playing board games in my spare time,” she said.
She also believes more students should follow in her footsteps and become teachers.
“I think education is such a meaningful career, and I hope students decide to go into this,” she said. “We need good teachers.”
If she were not a teacher, Mason would like to be a pastry chef.
“My family and I have food allergies, and I love to find new recipes to enjoy in an allergy-free way,” she said.
Mason believes that extracurricular activities are great for students.
“I believe learning cooperation and working as a team is vital for students,” she said. “Also, researching and learning how to voice an opinion as they do for the newspaper is an important skill.”
As a middle school student, Mason played with the school band,
“I was a band student and played clarinet,” she said. “I participated in drama, one-act play, and was an active reader.”
Although she has only been a teacher for four years, Mason has a lot of fond memories of her time in the classroom.
“The first time I saw the recognition in a student’s eyes, it was clear they were learning and understanding something new,” she said. “My fondest education-related memories are watching students graduate. It is great to see the culmination of all their hard work.”
Although teachers are usually helping students learn, many teachers learn from their students, as well.
“I have learned grit from many of my students,” she said. “I have had many students who, no matter what came up or got in the way, kept going, and I admire that.”
Mason loves to joke and have fun as much as her students.
“I think students think teachers are rigid, and one that always surprises students is that I like to joke and have fun, too,” she said. “I know I am definitely not ‘cool’, but I like to strike a balance between a serious learning environment and joking around. I think it helps develop a rapport in the classroom.”
Her love for language arts started because she has a love for reading.
“I started taking classes in college just because I enjoyed them and it blossomed into my field of study,” she said.
Mason came to Sevier because of Kingsport City School’s reputation.
“I came here because I wanted a new experience and had heard great things about Sevier and Kingsport City Schools,” she said.
Mason likes being the new teacher.
“I enjoy the kids,” she said. “The staff here are friendly and helpful.”
Her co-workers, in particular, have made the change much easier.
“I think Sevier has some of the best teachers I have ever had as co-workers,” Mason said. “They are helpful and accepting and make it a great place to be.”
Still, as a new teacher, she faces certain challenges.
“My biggest challenge here is learning a new curriculum and standards, but everyone is so helpful I think it will be easily overcome,” she said.
She also has some advice for her students.
“Get involved in your school community, try new things, and discover your passions,” she said.