New Teacher Spotlight: Chris Evans

Safa Hameed

Christopher Evans is one of the new freshman and sophomore English teachers here at Centreville High School, CVHS.  He grew up in Northwestern Florida, where he spent much of his high school career focusing on things other than English. Mr. Evans is a self-proclaimed “sci-fi/fantasy nerd” and he states that mediums such as The Lord of The Rings and Dungeons and Dragons had a very big influence on him. In fact, it took him a while before he had decided that English was his major because he was interested in numerous topics; however, he chose to pursue it when he realized that English enabled him to “write about and discuss any number of topics.” Besides English,  he also had a number of half majors, as well, in relating subjects like Digital Arts, Journalism, and Political Science. Being a Floridian and Stetson University graduate has resonated with his teaching style as it has provided him with a laid-back feel that one often associates with the state. Also, he believes that him being interested in a plethora of topics gives him an opportunity to “connect with a number of my students for whom English is not their favorite subject.” 

Fresh out of college, he spent his first years teaching, a spectacle he never thought would have happened, over in Korea because he wanted to “experience life in another country.” Over time, the self-satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with figuring life out slowly made its way as he got a job at a local university. It was there that he “began to make real connections with students and thought that I [he] had the potential to make a real difference” which led to seeing this path as “less than a means to an end and more an actual career I [he] found fulfilling.” And for the past four years before moving back to the U.S., he taught at Gangneung-Wonju National University where he had students of all ages including four-year-olds and eighty-year-olds. As with all things, teaching there had its setbacks, but he didn’t want to leave the “desire to make a difference”, so he cracked another shot at teaching here in the U.S. after a suggestion from a friend. 

Through the suggestion, he got a job as a long term substitute teacher for Mrs. Balen last year. It was a trial period where he could get a grasp for the students, staff, and the school’s culture. Evidently, he decided that the school was a perfect fit and was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to teach permanently the following year. As it is his first full year teaching in the U.S. and Virginia, he has faced two major hardships: time management and the curriculum. He notes that he has had to spend time “learning how to appropriately apply the standards to my [his] lesson.” Also, the curriculum calls for materials that he hasn’t worked with, so he needed to spend time reading it and learning it, which lead to a problem of time management. However, as the year has progressed both issues had subdued with help from the English Department.

His ideas about what English class stands for, “communication – both personal communication and recognizing others”, translates into what he hopes for his students to accomplish by the time they leave his class. These include getting a grasp for how to communicate one’s own ideas as well as analyzing other’s ideas and “identifying whether those ideas are valid.”  To help unmotivated students, he tries to connect with them about things that they’re passionate about, and even more so, being an English teacher allows him to incorporate those things into what they’re learning.

If Mr.Evans were never an English teacher, he finds that he would have divulged down a path where he can be creative and hands-on. Furthermore, he wishes to pursue wood-work as a hobby and to one-day build furniture.

All in all, it seems that, while Mr.Evans is still learning, he is a worthy addition to the CVHS staff and English Department.