WEISER — Part of the challenge of being a teacher is helping students not only focus on the material being taught, but to enjoy learning it. This is one challenge identified by Weiser High School English teacher Justin Shumway, newly hired for the 2021-22 school year.

Shumway grew up in Meridian, before attending Boise State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. In an email to the newspaper on Monday, he said he chose to teach English because of his passion for the language.

“Teaching English allows me to practice my love of language everyday in the classroom,” wrote Shumway. “I love words, puns, poetry, and just all the pieces of what’s called language. It is my hope that students also continue to develop their own love of language in my classroom.”

Shumway said that one challenge he is taking on is helping students overcome what is known  as writer’s block.

“Sometimes this is more research-based and academic, and other times it’s more personal. I’ve talked with many students who have no problems expressing themselves with oral language, but struggle when it comes to written language. So, developing a student’s ability to communicate in their writing is a grand challenge.”

This is the first of several installments in our “New Teachers” series for the 2021-22 school year. Further installments are coming in upcoming editions of the newspaper.

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