With only four months of school left, Ms. Yoshihara accepted a teaching position most people probably would have rejected. She teaches 10th and 8th grade college prep English and 8th grade honors English in place of English teacher Mrs. Hays. This was a big change for the new teacher, but she was willing to do anything to reach her dream and become an English teacher.
Ms. Yoshihara did not always plan to be a teacher. In high school she wanted to be a psychiatrist because she loved helping people. However, after her senior year in high school she knew all she wanted to do was teach. During her senior year of high school, Ms. Yoshihara had an amazing AP literature teacher who showed her the importance of literature. She said, “He made the students like reading and writing and thought it would be so nice to show every student how to explore life through literature.” After realizing the beauty of teaching English, Ms. Yoshihara went to UCI and majored in English and then got her teaching credentials, which brought her to Costa Mesa High School.
This is not her first year at CMHS. She first came to CMHS because she was assigned here as a student teacher with the middle school teacher Mrs. Murgu. As a student teacher she created wonderful relationships with the students and because of that she decided she wanted to come back to CMHS as a substitute teacher, which gave her the position she has now.
Ms. Yoshihara stated, “ It was hard adjusting to this new position because there was not much time to establish close relationships with the students and it was hard to jump in where they left off.” Even with these difficulties, Ms. Yoshihara is just happy to reach her dream and give the students small occasional epiphanies where they finally realize “Wow that’s so cool, I would have never thought of that!”
Even though she started teaching very late into the school year, many students say that they love her and think she is an amazing teacher. Student, Neil Zagada said, “Ms, Yoshihara is a pretty [great] teacher. Plus, she’s super chill.”
Outside of being a teacher at CMHS, Ms. Yoshihara is in a drumming group and plays two Japanese instruments called the Taiko, a huge drum, and the Koto, a thirteen-stringed instrument. She started playing them because she is Japanese- American and thought it would be rewarding to do something related to her culture. She took Japanese for four years in high school and two years in college, but she still is not fully fluent in the difficult language.
With only 3 and a half months of school left in the year, Ms. Yoshihara hopes to do the best job possible in her teaching, by helping her students achieve the “ah-hah!” moments that she loves so much.
Written and Photographed by Serena Ozonur