Angela Ledesma

English teacher Francesca Gunther instructs students in her third period Freshman English class on Aug. 30. Students participated on an analytical activity which they wrote about in table groups.

New English teacher brings innovative spirit to DPMHS

September 9, 2022

This new school year, Francesca Gunther took over one of the vacant English teacher positions. As it is Gunther’s first year teaching, this is a new experience both for her and the freshmen enrolled in her classes this semester. 

“I’m teaching 9th grade this semester so you know we’re all new,” Gunther said. “The first week is not rough for everybody but it is an adjustment for students and teachers. I felt really supported by staff and I didn’t feel unwelcome by the students.” 

Though this is Gunther’s first year teaching at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS), she has high hopes for her students. Gunther wants to help her students with their foundation of English, as she believes they will use her teachings at school and in their private lives as well. 

“I would say that since I’m their first contact with high school English, I want to at least leave them interested in the subject so they go into next year having a positive outlook on English,” Gunther said.

Initially, Gunther was going to be an art teacher but along the way she chose English instead as she is passionate in both subjects. She still likes art and tries to bring that into her classroom especially due to the pandemic, to have her students participate in more hands-on activities.

“I’ve always loved English and I like seeing my students excited about something, whether it’s as small as an activity or as big as like the content they’re learning,” Gunther said. “If I can see that they’re excited to work and they’re understanding it, that’s what powers me through the day.”

If you have Gunther as a teacher, whether it be this semester or the next, or you drop by to her open library at lunch, you might see a variety of Marvel cardboard cutouts and plants. The plants come from a collection of 50 that she has been taking care of since the start of the pandemic in her house. And though you might not believe it, the cardboard cutouts are used in her lessons sometimes. 

“I like Marvel and I had them,” Gunther said. “I thought I might as well bring them into the classroom because it adds a little bit of fun decoration. I also do use them in activities, so if we’re doing some kind of debate or activity where students have to agree or disagree I’ll label them. It’s just fun and it gets kids out of their chairs.” 

Gunther is adapting to DPMHS quickly as she experiences school activities alongside staff and students. 

“I’ve definitely noticed that with Fiesta Fridays and how effective all the admin are and everything that it is a very positive environment and a small close knit environment,” Gunther said.

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