When Katy Eyberg stepped across the threshold of the high school for what must have been the thousandth time, she felt that everything was the same. The walls were the same eggshell color as before and there were many teachers who clearly recognized her and welcomed her return. But the moment she stepped inside that class, faced with twenty-some expectant students, she knew that nothing was the same.
Seven years ago, Eyberg taught English at Dripping Springs and spearheaded the Creative Writing program. After spending seven years away, four of those being outside the U.S. in Thailand, she experienced a unique type of culture shock.
“I sometimes don’t understand what [my students] are talking about,” Eyberg said.
As if being an adult and trying to relate to children isn’t hard enough, Eyberg also struggles to understand recent culture. However, Eyberg feels that the change in culture hasn’t affected the students that much.
“[My old students and my new students] still talk and worry about the same things,” Eyberg said.
Eyberg feels that coming back to the high school after so long away isn’t such a drastic thing, though – and for that reason, she was excited to come back.
“Dripping Springs is actually one of the more fluid schools in the country,” Eyberg said.
What she means by “fluid” is that this school tries to implement new policies and focus on different things in an effort to recognize & accomodate for the different learning patterns of individual students. Examples of this would be the GT program as well as the recent switch to Canvas, both done in an effort to streamline the classroom environment.
“It’s an exciting thing to experience firsthand,” Eyberg said.
Although Eyberg was excited to come back and plans to implement new curriculum for her Creative Writing and English classes, she still doubts herself and her ability to make her classroom her own, especially when the former Creative Writing teacher, Travis Crain, was so celebrated.
“I’m not going to try to emulate him, because I’m myself and fundamentally different,” Eyberg said.
Although she does have that slight doubt, Eyberg is completely and earnestly determined to make her mark on the high school; just as she appreciates the efforts of DSHS to create new opportunities for students, she hopes to have garnered enough experience in Thailand to truly affect her students in a meaningful way.
“I’ve gone to grad school, gone to Thailand, and I’ve seen and learned so much,” Eyberg said. “The one thing I want is to pass on anything I’ve learned to my students.”
Story by Madeline Tredway, Staff Writer
Featured photo by Ramsey Hutton