“Be the change you wish to see in the world”: New English teacher hopes to inspire students at Fairview

Sophia Zhang

This year, Fairview is excited to welcome language arts teacher Nicole Vila into the classroom as she embarks on a journey through daily life at school, teaching college prep and Pre-IB 9th grade classes.

 

“I want to be somebody who can support young people,” Vila said. When she was a student, Vila felt as though none of her teachers really believed in her capability, and now as a teacher, she is hoping to inspire others and create change within the Fairview community. 

 

“I teach advanced kids and I feel like they strive for such perfection, and I really admire that so much, but at the same time, you gotta have some fun. Right? You gotta laugh a little bit,” Vila said. By being herself, being open, and sometimes being silly, Vila creates a strong connection with her students in the classroom when they are relaxed, comfortable, and when they’re having a little bit of fun.

 

Before coming to Fairview, Vila worked at what she describes as a “tiny little one-hallway school”, so coming to Fairview was somewhat of a cultural shock to her. Upon first sight, Fairview was like a “castle” to her, bearing what she felt like was “a million hallways”.

 

“I think that students here can really excel…the school offers a lot of cool opportunities for students.” Vila said, after commenting on the gorgeously modern art space and beautiful library. 

 

Her students this year have all expressed their excitement to be in her class. “I thought she was really nice, funny, and pretty energetic even though it was the end of the day, and I’m in her last period,” freshman Stella Thoreson said. Freshman Evy Huttner similarly said how upon first impression, Vila immediately struck Huttner as “a good teacher.” Thoreson added that Vila’s “workload is pretty nice” and that since most of it is due towards the end of the week, it makes it easier for students to manage their time and turn in assignments on time. “She seemed very nice, very chill, and cool,” freshman Puih Puih Thluai said.

 

When Vila had her son a few years ago, she took a year off teaching, and during that year, she “missed it so much.” “Teaching is something that feeds my soul…[it’s] something that brings me joy, [and] it makes me feel confident in my purpose in life.” Vila said. In a survey conducted for Brookings.edu, a global research institution, Seth Gershenson and Stephen Holt found that educators appear to enjoy slightly better mental health than their average employed peers.

 

Lastly—and perhaps surprisingly, the big event Vila is looking forward to this year is the Boulder-Fairview football game. As mentioned previously, Vila used to work in “a super small school” which didn’t have any big rivalries, so Vila is especially excited to be able to attend the big football game taking place September 30th.

 

“I really want to come support. Paint my face—no just kidding. I’ll do the glitter.” Vila said.