New Cedar Hill HS Science Teacher Navigates Learning During Pandemic

Jessica Allen Cedar Hill
Jessica Allen Cedar Hill

New Cedar Hill HS Science Teacher Excited About Flex Learning Opportunities

CEDAR HILL, TX- Jessica Allen was interested in having a better understanding of medical terminology and jargon, so she pursued a Biology degree.

Upon earning that degree from the University of Texas-Arlington, an interesting thought crossed her mind.

“If everyone who earned a science degree taught public school for two years, there wouldn’t be a shortage of science teachers in the United States,” said Allen, who will teach Anatomy & Physiology and Physics at Cedar Hill High School.

When Allen began the alternative certification process, she quickly learned that teaching for just two years wouldn’t be enough. She wanted to make a career of it.

Allen chose a unique time to begin her teaching career, and she sees both the challenges and opportunities of being a first-time teacher during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Exceptional Support From Longhorn Family

“Of course, it has been stressful for everyone,” Allen said. “The biggest challenge is learning all of the new software and converting the content to something that’s reasonable for online.”

Allen said the support of her fellow teachers and staff members has been exceptional.

“Everybody has gone above and beyond in making me feel like a member of the Longhorn Family,” Allen said. “Experienced teachers always come by to check on me and make sure I understand what’s going on.”

Allen said several teachers that she had growing up impacted her decision to become a science teacher. She recently earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy & Management with a concentration in Sustainability from American Public University, a division of the American Military University system.

A wide variety of work experiences have helped Allen gain valuable experience. She worked a number of retail jobs as well as technical support.

“I think I picked up some skills in tech support for basic troubleshooting and how to figure out technical information,” Allen said.

An Innovative School

She is currently pursuing her alternative certification through iteach, and the program led her to CHHS.

“It seems like an innovative school with a lot of good culture,” Allen said.

Allen said that Anatomy & Physiology is an important class, even for scholars who aren’t interested in pursuing careers in the science or medical fields.

“After taking Anatomy & Physiology, I could interpret everything the doctor said, and it really helped with medical literacy,” Allen said.

She is equally as enthusiastic about physics.

“Physics is fun because it’s the science of motion and energy,” Allen said.

Allen said her interactions have been positive thus far. She is looking forward to a year of professional and personal growth.

“I just want to work on becoming a better teacher,” Allen said.