By Avery Kean '19
In this issue of Exchanged, we thought it would interesting to hold interviews with some members of the STA/NCS faculty, to hear their perspective on close life, and what it is like to teach here. I interviewed NCS’s beloved Mrs. Bohlen; the school guidance counselor and teacher of health and human sexuality. All of NCS depends on her for her kind smile in the hallways and constantly open office door, ready to chat about anything and help with any type of situation.
Avery: When did you start teaching at NCS, and is this where you saw yourself when you first started?
Mrs. Bohlen: AH! That’s funny. Not at all where I saw myself, and I started teaching here in the fall of 05’. And teaching has always been sort of a secondary responsibility, so obviously counseling is the primary role. I’ll admit, it was my biggest anxiety, because I had never taught health and human sexuality before I took this job.
A: What would you say is the best part of the job now?
MB: The best part is you all! I love working with you all, even my husband says it. He laughs, he’s like, “You love those kids” and I’m like “yeah I do!” So yes my favorite part is you all and watching you grow and change from coming in as ninth graders to who you become as seniors when you leave.
A: But what would you say is the hardest part?
MB: The hardest part is having to deliver bad news to parents, and it's really hard. And feeling that no matter what we do as an institution, we’re not being helpful or supportive enough to someone.
A: What do you love most about teaching, or about the school environment?
MB: School is fun. Being in a school helps keep you young, we really do age but you know we’re always ninth through twelfth graders! I mean I definitely am up on the more “hip” things because I work with teens.
But with teaching, my favorite thing to teach with health and human… I think one of my favorite things is teaching you all about contraception methods, and kind of doing a show and tell and you all are like “OH MY GOD!” And seeing your faces. Oh! Also birth and pregnancy. That’s always fun. In general I like teaching health and human because it affords me an opportunity to get to know you all in different ways, as in a student-teacher relationship rather than just in a counselor-student relationship.
A: Do you have a best/funniest/most embarrassing/most memorable moment while teaching that you can remember?
MB: Oh yeah! Oh yeah most embarrassing definitely. I was doing the contraception lesson, and I had this contraceptive foam. I tried to squeeze it out of the can, and it just EXPLODED everywhere and all over a student. Luckily, it was student with a sense of humor, and we all just started laughing but of course I was mortified!! This poor girl had contraceptive foam all over her arm and her sleeve! That was really embarrassing but it was really funny too.
A: Final question- what is the one thing you want your students to know (about teaching, about you, about life?)
MB: Don’t sweat the small stuff. As a teenager I think things always feel so big, but remember just to take a breath and sometimes take a step away and try to drown out some of the clutter in the background, so you can see things more clearly.
Many thanks to Mrs. Bohlen for letting me ask her questions and giving some wonderful answers!