The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Pursuing passion

Substitute finds purpose teaching
Andrew Hager
Beatriz Wilkinson instructs her Spanish II class during third period. Previously a dentist, Wilkinson is the replacement teacher for Amanda Vera and has no prior teaching experience.

After her children graduated from high school, Spanish II and III substitute Beatriz Wilkinson wanted to find something to do that she enjoyed.

“When it came to decide what I would love to do after my kids went to college, I said, ‘I would want to go back and teach,’” Wilkinson said.

Before moving to the U.S., Wilkinson worked as a dentist in Mexico. At the dental school she attended, the university worked with high school students. Wilkinson taught students various school subjects in rotations. 

“Back in the time, the school was working with little kids and kids your age, high school age, teaching them in the different subjects, like math, Spanish [and] geometry,” Wilkinson said. “We did these in rotations that we had in the school. We helped kids around the school and around the university. I really enjoyed that.”

After getting married, Wilkinson moved to Georgia, where she worked as a substitute teacher for special-education students.

“When I was a substitute teacher in Georgia, I had a different schedule,” Wilkinson said. “Sometimes you work on a day, [and] sometimes you don’t have a different schedule. You can start late in the day, or early in the morning. But here, I’m a long-term substitute, so you have to be here a certain time everyday, so this is like a job.”

Wilkinson began teaching at the high school in late January as a long-term replacement substitute, teaching Spanish II and Spanish III courses.

“I think my favorite thing about Mrs. Wilkinson is the conversation we had where she stood up and she said, ‘Listen, you guys, I understand it can be scary speaking Spanish,’ because it’s not my native language,” sophomore Spanish III student Ellis Smith said. “But she said, ‘Sometimes it’s scary for me to speak English,’ because her native language is Spanish. And so she’s like ‘We are in the same boat. I believe in you. You guys believe in me, so we can do this together.’”

Wilkinson was substituting for Amanda Vera, who gave birth to twin daughters and was on maternity leave before returning on Monday.

“For the most part, it seems like I haven’t been gone,” Vera said. “It’s been really nice to just jump back in the role, but I have to kind of figure out what was taught and get some of those students caught up, so [coming back was] not overwhelming, more exciting than anything.”

Although Wilkinson had experience teaching before, integrating Zoom and virtual students into the classroom was something new.

“I think that she did a great job, considering all the technology she had to learn prior to taking over for me,” Vera said. “It was a difficult job for even a seasoned teacher.”

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About the Contributors
Alissa Chang
Alissa Chang, Staff Writer
Freshman Alissa Chang is excited to join The Red Ledger as a staff writer. After joining journalism on a whim in seventh grade, Alissa was surprised by how much she enjoyed the class. In addition to journalism, Alissa loves all things music. She listens to a variety of music genres, some of her favorite artists include the Beach Boys, Ariana Grande and BLACKPINK. Alissa mainly plays the violin but is constantly trying to learn new instruments too, such as the ukulele, piano and guitar. While creative thinking is Alissa’s forte, she also prides herself on being only one of two freshmen taking pre-calculus this year. Outside of school, Alissa can be found playing with her golden lab retriever, Ava, taking care of her new chickens or hanging out with her friends over a large jasmine milk tea with boba, half sugar and light ice.
Andrew Hager
Andrew Hager, Photographer
Junior Andrew Hager enters his second year on The Red Ledger as a photographer. Hager enjoys spending time with his friends, photography and traveling. Hager picked up photography in early 2019, and enjoys taking and posting travel photos to his Instagram. His love for photography is more than just a hobby. His passion gave him opportunities to shoot family photos and weddings and engage in product photography. He’s the kind of person to discover a new Netflix show and finish it in one day. Hager is also known to stay up until four in the morning watching YouTube or playing Xbox. His favorite show is “Game of Thrones,” and his favorite food is Pizza Rolls. Hager looks forward to his second year on TRL staff.

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