WARSAW — With the new school year approaching, students are not the only ones getting ready to go back to class.
This afternoon, Friday, July 29, the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce welcomed new teachers from Warsaw, Wawasee, Whitko and Tippecanoe Valley schools.
The lunch event, held at Creighton’s Crazy Egg Cafe, began with teachers giving an introduction and sharing one interesting or memorable thing about themselves. Chamber Executive Director Rob Parker then released the crowd for lunch.
The speaker for the event was Warsaw Community High School senior Mason Metzger, who spoke about facing and overcoming obstacles. Metzger told them how his fourth-grade special-needs teachers encouraged him to focus on being independent. It was also in fourth grade that Metzger first discovered his passion for public speaking.
He also talked about the emotional obstacles of watching his dad go through cancer and the inner struggle he experienced.
“I put on a mask on the outside,” he said. “But on the inside, I was hurting … I needed someone with a greater power than I.”
He told them about his time at CIY Move, a ministry-based youth camp, where he was finally able to overcome that struggle.
Metzger encouraged the teachers to focus on a culture of positivity. He also spoke on leadership and encouraged teachers to work together as a team.
“No matter where you are on that team, you still have the same amount of influence,” he said.
He added, “I have learned we need to have a growth mindset … because we all have room to grow.”
He encouraged them to be bold in the face of the many challenges associated with being a new teacher. He concluded by likening students to caterpillars who can become butterflies, figuratively, as their teachers help them find their passion in life.
Following the presentation, teachers each received a gift bag filled with donated items from local businesses.