Prince George alumna Caitlin Poppell has returned to her alma mater to share her passion and knowledge of chemistry.
Poppell is the new chemistry teacher and is beginning her first year of teaching.
“I had originally been applying for nursing school when they asked me to come teach here, so it really wasn’t in my plans or my field that I was going for,” Poppell said. “I just had things going on in life and this was more of a fit for me more than nursing school at the time.”
Poppell is also a native of Prince George and graduated from the high school in 2013.
“I’ve always lived here and I’ve always gone to Prince George schools so it’s like coming home,” Poppell said. “I have people here that taught me so I have a lot of good resources and a lot of people I can look up to.”
Poppell shares that her biggest inspiration to be a teacher was English teacher Beth Andersen.
“She was the one who originally asked me if I was interested in teaching,” Poppell said. “She has always been that teacher that has made me feel good and she showed me she was there outside of the classroom, and not just as my teacher. That means a lot to me so she is one of my biggest inspirations.”
Poppell recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2017.
“I wanted to stay close to home. Like I said I love Prince George, most people don’t always feel that way, but I love living here and I love the area,” Poppell said. “VCU had a good science program which is what I was going for and it’s close to home so I could commute.”
Poppell hopes to learn a lot about her new students and their methods of learning, and she also hopes to learn more about being a teacher.
“I didn’t go to school to be a teacher I went to school to learn about chemistry, so I know the subject but I am learning a lot about teaching and how people learn differently,” Poppell said. “I want to learn how to teach everybody so that they can understand it the way I do.”
This year Poppell looks forward to bonding with her new students and making them feel comfortable in class.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know my students,” Poppell said. “I like bonding with people and I like to know the people I see everyday. I want to look at them as more than just students I have to teach. I want them to be comfortable talking to me and I want them to feel like they can ask me questions and not be intimidated.”