Teacher Feature: Traci Walsh

History teacher Traci Walsh, reflecting on the value of developing good relationships with her students, said, “The most important thing to do is make good relationships with students, not just as students, but as humans.” Walsh defines herself through her effort to understand her students on a human level.

Walsh’s friendliness and respect for her students connect with those under her watch. Sophomore Aleesha Smith said Walsh “is kind and treats students with respect. She also does not cold call anyone.” 

Walsh’s method of instruction focuses on connection and involvement. “I think it’s because I’m relatable,” she said. “I try to make class connections and relate to students’ lives like food—everybody likes food, right?” 

Walsh recalled seeing her AP human geography students celebrate their accomplishments. “It was my first year teaching AP hug,” she said. “To see how excited students were about their grades made me excited.” 

Despite the challenges she has, such as limited time while covering big topics, Walsh said she is trying to maximize her students’ learning opportunities. “There are so many things that relate to our topics, but there isn’t enough time.”

Walsh said many of her students are willing to rise to the challenges she offers. “It happens since I teach an AP class, and it just being a harder class gets students a bit more motivated and makes them more focused.” 

Her students notice her connections. Smith said, “Every day in class, she treats us with respect.” 

Walsh allows participation from all students by using interactive components in her courses. “In class, she reviews with games/videos,” Smith said. “She tries to make jokes and relate class content to real-life scenarios. She doesn’t just talk all class. Things change regularly so we don’t get bored.” 

In conclusion, Traci Walsh’s effort to make meaningful connections, develop importance and create a supportive learning environment defines her as an amazing teacher at Cedar Falls High School. Walsh’s warmth, relatability and fun teaching approaches continue to positively affect her students’ lives, creating a comfortable learning environment.

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