Stephens expands her horizons

Melanie Stephens teaches many class at Edmond Memorial High School, and is about to add one more.

Provided by The University of Southern Mississippi

Melanie Stephens teaches many class at Edmond Memorial High School, and is about to add one more.

Lathan Pearce, Staff Writer

Melanie Stephens teaches several different classes at Edmond Memorial High School (EMHS). She instructs students in English IV, Shakespeare, Western Humanities and one of the newest classes in the building: Eastern Humanities.

Western Humanities which has been at EMHS for years became Western Humanities this year. The original class only taught Western arts, despite being labeled as an overarching class of all Humanities. This left out an entire hemisphere of culture, which is why Stephens pushed for two different classes to be more inclusive.

“I wanted to see more diversity in the curriculum by offering something beyond a European focus,” Stephens said.

Stephens is currently still in school to earn her Master’s, taking classes in between teaching her students. She’s taking a class on fairy tales from all over the world and one over North and South American tribes. These tribes include the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations before colonization, which will help Stephens in her venture into Eastern Humanities next semester.

“I don’t have much experience with non-western history, so this is like my first exposure to any history in South America,” Stephens said.

Out of all of her classes, her favorite to teach students is Shakespeare. Unlike Humanities, where some students take it mostly for an art credit, many Shakespeare students are engaged with the content. However, teaching senior English IV is where she feels like she makes the most connections with her students since it is a full year.

Stephen’s students have many good things to say about Stephens and her classroom environment. Junior Brycen Mchenry is currently in second-hour Western Humanities and enjoys how Stephens’s classroom is arranged because it creates a welcoming and comfortable environment.

“I feel at ease, and the source material we’re learning in that class is actually interesting,” Mchenry said.

Senior Andrew Woods in sixth hour Western Humanities has many of the same sentiments, while also feeling like her lecturing style is different than most.

“She makes the material easy to understand,” Woods said.

Stephens is working really hard to make sure that the students at EMHS are learning while also continuing to learn. With Eastern Humanities right around the corner, Stephens will have to take on a new challenge.

Contact Lathan Pearce at [email protected]