New teacher plans to make masterpiece of school year

“Make each day your masterpiece.” She has lived by those words since the day she first read them.  From teaching toddlers about nutrition to earning a degree in sports and exercise science with a minor in English from West Texas A&M University, she has always remembered to make a masterpiece out of each moment of her life. Now, Taylor Sparks, the newest English teacher at Canyon High School, is ready to make a new masterpiece this school year.

Sparks joined the staff this year as an English I teacher. Sparks has now been in the classroom about a month.

“I love my new job,” Sparks said. “I’ve always wanted to be at Canyon, so I was very fortunate to get a position here. I honestly look forward to coming to school every single day. It’s a great environment, and I really love the kids and everything about this place.”

Before her employment at Canyon, Sparks worked for a company where she said she gained valuable experience prior to her time as a high school teacher.

“I worked for a company called Stretch-n-Grow,” Sparks said. “My job for that company was to go around to different day cares in Amarillo and teach young kids that are usually 3 to 5 years old about nutrition and work with them in P.E. classes.”

Thanks to her work at Stretch-n-grow, Sparks has discovered what she believes to be the most important attribute of teaching.

“I’ve learned that there really isn’t much of a difference between working with younger kids and working with older kids,” Sparks said. “You just have to let them know that you care about them. Of course, the content is different, but the way that you teach kids is the same in the fact that it’s all about showing them love and showing them that you care, which has always felt very natural to me.”

I honestly look forward to coming to school every single day.

— Taylor Sparks

Sparks said a truly great educator is someone who exemplifies these characteristics of compassion and knowledge, while also being understanding of students’ different needs in education.

“To me, being a good teacher means having an open mind,” Sparks said. “A good teacher is someone that will actually listen to the students and understand that the students do need to have a say in their education.”

Sparks said that she would eventually like to become a coach at Canyon High, but for now she feels that she can improve the English program at Canyon by utilizing her own compassionate and unique style of educating her students.

“I’ve always been the type of person that makes a difference, and I would like to make a positive difference in the English Department.” Sparks said. “I want everyone to know that I have a unique style of teaching, and that I like to have fun with the students.”