“Traveling changed my view on life,” English teacher Jenny Michael said.
During her time in high school, Michael was given the opportunity to travel abroad for three weeks without her parents. She went to Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and England. She explained how important it was that her parents allowed her to go.
“I grew up in a conservative family and my brother was a rule breaker, so I became a rule follower. For my parents to let me go out of the country by myself was huge,” Michael said. “It changed my whole life. I was seeing people who were different from me and what I’ve always known. I lived in a white, rich, suburb in Wisconsin.” She used this time abroad as a learning experience and gained so much knowledge when she let herself be open.
Before coming to Webster Groves, Michael taught English at a high school in Jefferson County. She said the perspective of the students is really only based on what they know, just like her at that age. She tries to bring what she learned when traveling into her classroom by exposing students to different types of literature and articles with diverse viewpoints.
Michael said that showing students differences in the world is important so they can form their own opinions based on reality. She gives them different writing prompts to broaden their perspective on topics they may not be aware of.
Michael also wants her students to enjoy her class and attempts to make her learning fun. Her students would agree.
Junior Shea Goggin said, “She just really makes every student feel supported and that they can always go to her for help because of her effort to make connections with everyone. She always tries to bring everyone into the conversation. I think that’s pretty cool.”