Welcoming New Teachers to the Nest

Welcoming New Teachers to the Nest

By Maggie York, Junior Managing Editor

Everyone remembers their first day at Marist: the expansive new campus to explore, hundreds of new faces to learn, classes to find, teachers to meet. Many students look back on their first day and remember how scared they were to go to a completely new school. But what about the new teachers? To understand more about these “first day jitters” and how new teachers and faculty are adjusting to life at Marist, The Blue & Gold spoke with two new members of the faculty and staff about their experience so far. 

Catherine Jackson, a member of the class of 2017, attended Furman College and returned to Marist in January of 2021. She has worn many different hats since returning to campus, including being a substitute advisor, proctoring classrooms, and now working in Admissions as an Alumni Relations Representative. As a relatively recent graduate, Jackson has a great perspective on how life at Marist changed over the last few years. 

The biggest change, according to Jackson, is the fact that “students are allowed to wear sweatshirts,” which is a new addition to the school’s dress code as of the start of the 2020 school year, of which many students have happily taken advantage.

Although uniform adjustments are one thing Jackson noticed changing since her time at Marist, she was pleased to see that much remained unchanged. “The Marist family spirit has stayed the same,” said Jackson, adding that this family attitude of students all caring about each other has only grown since her time as a student. She notes that that same family spirit is shared among the staff as well. 

Although none of her high school classmates work here now, a lot of her former teachers are still at the school, including David Negus ‘84, her personal favorite during her time as a student.

In her short time back, Jackson has found that her favorite thing about working here 

is “getting to know and hang out with students.” What surprised her, though, was that she “didn’t recognize as a student how much faculty and staff are involved around Marist campus.” 

There were some scary aspects to returning to campus as an employee. It was not learning protocols or meeting other staffers; rather, Jackson said the most unnerving part of the job was “being in front of a classroom while proctoring an exam.” According to Jackson, she had to remind herself that these students were Marist students, which calmed her nerves. 

Another recent addition to the Marist family is Jillian Bauersfeld, the Director of the Marist Dance Company. Bauserfeld is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, and attended the University of Mary Washington and Graduate School at Regent University. Bausefeld started working at Marist in August of 2021 and teaches Aerobic Fitness and Dance Technique.

Bauerfeld has taught at a variety of different schools, of which Marist is her fourth. One unique thing about this school, said Bauerfeld, is that the students are “so willing and open to new and fun things and aren’t afraid to smile and laugh.” Another positive feature Bauersfeld notes is the kindness she sees every day among students. According to Bauersfeld, her favorite thing about working here is “the energy on campus and of course the students.” The thing she worries about, however, is “not being late to class,” something a lot of Marist students can relate to.

A common observation between both these teachers is their appreciation for the Marist culture of welcoming newcomers, both students and teachers! Speaking with new teachers at Marist revealed all the hard work new teachers at Marist put into their first year. Everyone at Marist welcomes all the new teachers and hopes they feel welcomed into the Marist Fam and have a great first year!