Hoppie-go-lucky: New English teacher has high hopes and higher energy

by Phoebe F.

Ms. Melissa Hoppie, a new ninth and tenth grade English teacher, started her first full-year of teaching at Duxbury High School this year. 

She lives in Marshfield and it’s important to her to be teaching in her community. 

“I’m very much a community-based teacher,” said Ms. Hoppie, “I think that it’s important to teach in one’s own community and to celebrate the successes of our communities.”

Ms. Hoppie has been teaching for about three years, mainly in long-term substitute positions. She was previously working at Norwood High School. 

Teachers are constantly learning too, and sometimes student’s will teach their teachers new things. 

“My favorite part about teaching is definitely when a student picks up on something in the text that I didn’t pick up on,” said Hoppie, “when a student is able to read something that I have read many times before and they’re able to use the evidence in the text to support the claim, it is the most exhilarating feeling.” 

Ms. Hoppie wants to engage her students and create lessons that will get them thinking. 

“I love, love, love, socratic seminars. With socratic seminars, if you’re able to do it the right way you can really get some interesting, fiery, well-supported conversations going in the classroom,” said Hoppie, “so I like to add in some discussion questions that I think connect to bigger picture ideas.” 

Along with all teachers, Ms. Hoppie has had to adjust her teaching practices this year because of COVID-19. She is still trying to incorporate group work into her classroom, while maintaining the social distancing guidelines. Zoom has been a key factor in making this work. 

Ms. Hoppie is using more nonverbal communication this year than ever before. 

“I’m already a pretty enthusiastic and energetic teacher,” said Hoppie, “I feel like I’m even more so this year because no one can see my face so I’m acting out more, I’m exclaiming more, I’m definitely bringing a higher energy into the classroom to bridge that gap, at least between student and teacher.” 

The hybrid model has given Ms. Hoppie the opportunity to still have some face-to-face time with her students and build a connection with them. “I miss having students in the classroom in the worst way,” said Hoppie, “there’s just something about seeing the students you’re teaching, and interacting with them beyond a computer screen.” 

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Hoppie’s favorite activity is reading. “I like to go to a bookstore and pick a piece of fiction and a piece of nonfiction every time I’m there.” 

Her two favorite books are, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and the Harry Potter series. 

Dr. Baynes, English Subject Supervisor, believes Ms. Hoppie is the right person for the job and that she will make a wonderful teacher, here at Duxbury High School. 

“In her interviews with us, Ms. Hoppie was every bit as impressive in person as she was on paper. We knew from her responses to our questions and from the questions she posed to us about DHS that she possessed all the right attributes to excel as an English teacher,” said, Dr. Baynes, “Ms. Hoppie is the complete package, and I am delighted to have her on our staff.”

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