Twenty-seven years ago, English teacher Victoria Crouse was a former Cougar student with the dream of becoming a teacher.
Crouse graduated in 1990 in a class of 164 students. She was in the top five of her class and was involved in many clubs and activities including National Honor Society, Drama Club, Yearbook, Newspaper, French Club, French Honor Society, Literary Magazine, FTA (Future Teachers of America), Prom Committee, and playing basketball in her free time.
After high school, Crouse attended UNC-Charlotte and came back to teach at our school for the past 23 years.
Crouse said, “This is the only place I’ve ever wanted to teach, and I turned down a job in Charlotte to get my job here. My plan is to retire having only worked on this campus.”
From a young age, Crouse knew she wanted to become a teacher.
“I’ve wanted to teach since I was in elementary school. I decided on teaching English in middle school, because I loved my 8th grade Language Arts Teacher, and then I focused on high school education, thanks to the teachers I had at WF-R,” Crouse said.
Crouse finds her passion for teaching through her students’ success.
“I love it when they figure something out or conquer a challenging assignment,” Crouse said. “I like to try and bridge the gap between the demands of today’s classroom with the feeling and spirit of the classroom I experienced as a student. I like to feel I helped my students figure out what they think, and why they think that way, rather than reciting facts of knowledge without a clear reason for doing so.”
Crouse has been influenced by her teachers in high school and aspires to teach like them.
“In the classroom, it’s definitely, in particular, Pansy Sullivan- a woman who never needed to open an American History textbook to be able to explain significant events in our country’s history,” Crouse said. “I also aspire to teach like Tom Humble, my AP English IV teacher. His work in the classroom was amazing, and I learned so much from him about analysis and textual inference.”
Crouse has also been influenced outside the classroom by her family.
“Outside the classroom, my biggest influences are my mom and grandmothers. If I end up half as accomplished and positive in nature as they are, I will be happy,” Crouse said.
Crouse also continues to learn from her colleagues both in the English Department and in other subjects. She is inspired to be the best teacher she can through exchanging ideas with other teachers.
She also uses her own high school experiences to impact how she teaches.
Crouse said, “I work hard to remember the sort of anxieties I sometimes felt in high school when I was a senior, and I try to alleviate those fears for my students as much as possible. I work hard to continually learn as much as I can in my subject area so I can make the sort of impact on my students my high school teachers had on me.”