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Part-time teacher advances science department

New teachers face many challenges entering a foreign environment and teaching new students. Coming in as a new teacher during mid-semester can be an even harder adjustment. Jennifer Oren has come to FC, taking on the role of an additional biology and chemistry teacher and relieving science teacher and new father Dan Harris of some work.

Oren is a mother of two and has been married for 23 years. Her oldest daughter is entering her second year at Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego and her youngest is a senior, attending Clovis West High School. She and her husband enjoy traveling, specifically to the snow, the beach and into the mountains.

Oren formerly taught in the Kings Canyon Unified School District, at Clovis West High School, other Clovis Unified Schools and at University High School. She has taken a specific liking to science and has taught everything from biology to chemistry to even zoology. She has been praying for a part-time job to open up and has finally found her home on campus.

“This fall I was very excited to get a call to interview at Fresno Christian School,” Oren said. “I had been praying for just the right part-time position. This job at Fresno Christian was an answer to that prayer.”

Harris is extremely grateful for Oren coming in and lightening his load as a teacher. With being a new father, he is even more appreciative of what she has done to give him more time to spend with the new addition to his family.

“She has helped me in three major ways,” Harris said. “First, she has taken over two classes which gives me more free time to prepare and grade papers during the school day. Secondly, she has helped me organize the room itself so it can be more successful. And finally, she has come up with many excellent ides for teaching biology, specifically through her creativity and years of experience with it. It has really helped strengthen the science program here at Fresno Christian.”

Oren says the adjustment of coming in mid-year has not been an easy transition but says that she has received much help along the way. Harris and her have come up with new methods and have worked together to develop plans for all the science classes.

“Jumping into a school year and classes that are already in full swing is more difficult than starting fresh in a new school year,” Oren said. “The challenge comes for establishing new classroom procedures while not losing any learning time. Mr. Harris and I worked together, implementing some small changes in our classrooms that have had a big, positive influence.”

Freshman Rees Roggenstein, originally too biology under Harris during the first part of the year and now has Oren. He has noticed the changes in the classroom environment and its effect on the class.

“She is more stern which can be good and bad,” Roggenstein said. “It’s a good thing because it keeps everything under control but a bad thing because the kids can see it as negative.”

While sophomore Jariah Harris recognizes a shift in the classroom atmosphere, she also appreciates Oren’s hard work and experience.

“Mrs. Oren is a very interesting teacher who brings a certian type of characteristic to our biology class,” Harris said. “She does her best in trying to take the class and the students to a higher level of education”

Nick Fontes, ’15, also acknowledges Oren’s teaching experience and says that the science department is developing even more because of it.

“It has made the class harder because we have a teacher who only teaches two classes so she can focus on those specific classes,” Fontes said. “With that said, it will definitely make our science department better because it is going from one person to two people and she has a lot of teaching experience.”

Principal Todd Bennett says that Oren filling the role as new part-time science teacher works very well. Her knowledge in the science department has been very beneficial to the school as a whole.

“We had a need for a second science teacher and I happened to be talking to Mrs. Grossman when she mentioned Mrs. Oren,” Bennett said. “So I sat down and talked to Mrs. Oren and she was a very strong Christian and had a history with us. Her classroom management is definitely a strength and her knowledge of the subject is phenomenal. She creates an environment that is very helpful for the kids and also beneficial to their learning.”

For more information, please email Jennifer Oren, or simply visit her in room 622. For more features, read the Nov. 27 article, ‘Underground’ celebrates 20th episode (VIDEO).

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