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The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

Avid teacher overcomes challenges and inspires students

Avid teacher overcomes challenges and inspires students
Tylia Monroe

Shaina Van Remus, previously known by the last name Vangilder and Mrs. V to many students, is a biology and AVID teacher at Hickman High School.


This year is her second year, and her teaching start could be considered “non-traditional.”


Van Remus is a Mizzou graduate who returned to Hickman to student teach in the fall of 2021. She was just supposed to be teaching under her host teacher who taught biology, however, her time at Hickman was extended a little longer.


Another teacher in the same department resigned, so when Van Remus finished her student teaching and graduated that fall, she went straight into a sub job the following spring and courageously agreed to cover her host teacher’s maternity leave.


Van Remus found herself at Hickman the whole year which would make the average person stressed, but she didn’t even break a sweat. 


“I was already pretty comfortable doing the job here. Like I don’t think it was that crazy. [And] the biology department specifically is organized, and supportive. They made my job super easy,” Van Remus said.


Fall soon rolled around and she was starting her first year. She didn’t feel nervous because of all the practice she had as a  student teacher. However, she would also be teaching AVID which was a new and unfamiliar subject for her.


AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a course students can take that improves college and career readiness for middle and high school students, especially those who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.


Being an AVID  teacher can be a little more challenging because the whole reason for the class is to prepare students for the real world and that could be a big responsibility for a new teacher.


“You feel like you need to be a person that [can] kind of relate to the class in a way. I do think it’s a little bit frustrating to see kids that are so full of potential that need support, and then like, struggle to find the best way to support them. Oh, sometimes I feel frustrated that I feel like I can’t do everything for the kids that they deserve,”  Van Remus said.


Stepping into this role was scary and still can feel a little rocky, but Van Remus continues to work with her AVID classes and help them build skills that they will be able to carry outside of their four years at Hickman.


She does words of the day to strengthen her student’s vocabulary, she can assist them with collaborative study groups, and instruct how to take efficient notes that will help them. She also holds an ACT study prep for juniors and seniors who are in AVID. 


“I love my students and they’re so wonderful. Even if they make me tired, like teaching is so exhausting. Sometimes I come home and I’m like, I’m done.  I need to, like, be in a very quiet room. I’m so tired. Yeah, but at the same time, it’s very rewarding,”  Van Remus said. 


So, even though teaching AVID was initially daunting for Van Remus, she never gave up. Her determination and passion for teaching helped her overcome challenges and become an amazing AVID teacher. 

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