Harker trades journalism for history

While Cara Harker is new to BSHS, she's a veteran teacher who brings varied experience to her students.

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By Savannah Alvis

“I absolutely love history, and I knew I wanted to teach.  I didn’t have the best experiences in my history classes as a high school student, and I was hoping I could make history engaging and relevant for my students.” -Cara Harker, History Teacher

Kids always talk about what they want to be when they grow up, and it can can change from day to day. HIstory teacher Cara Harker experienced that. She hasn’t always wanted to be a teacher; in fact, she wanted to be a reporter.

She completed her Bachelor in Journalism at Mizzou because she wanted to be a reporter. As she was finishing her classes, she was a teacher aid then fell in love with teaching. Therefore, she went back to school to get her teaching degree through UMKC. Then she got a job as a teacher and went to college at night to get his Master’s in History through Baker.

Harker decide to be a history teacher based on her own lacking role models in that subject while she was a student.

“I absolutely love history, and I knew I wanted to teach.  I didn’t have the best experiences in my history classes as a high school student, and I was hoping I could make history engaging and relevant for my students,” Harker said. For her, this is an ongoing concept. “(This is) still a goal I strive for each day.”

The biggest differences between Truman and BSHS, according to Harker, include both physical elements and time constraints.  

““Students are very similar here.  Of course, this school is larger and the campus is much bigger, so I think that allows a little more freedom for students, which I love.  Truman doesn’t have anything like Wildcat hour, and I think is one of the best things about BSHS,” Harker said.

Regarding Wildcat Hour, Harker likes the freedoms and choices it affords BSHS students.

“It really allows students a lot of opportunity to be involved and get help when they need it without trying to juggle their schedules or find rides,” she added.

The BSHS tradition of combining high standards with academic support has helped Harker to feel a sense of belonging.

“I think Blue Springs has high expectations for students and staff, but it also offers a lot of support, and that’s one of the reasons this school has a reputation for excellence, Harker said.

Mrs. Harker’s student from 7th hour talked about how great of a teacher she is.

“She doesn’t give a lot of homework, which I love because it helps not having homework in one class when iIdo in all my other ones,” sophomore Aiden Arreguin said.

Arreguin noted that Harker’s teaching style also him retain information.

“She does a lot of powerpoints and we take notes as we see fit for ourselves, which helps a lot because I don’t have to write every single note when I only need a couple pages,” Arreguin said.

Arreguin credited Harker’s discussion style classroom structure with assisting in comprehension and learning. 

“It helps to understand the topic more when I can read about it or listen to my teacher explain it instead of having to hopefully understand a little thing she said when she talks about a new topic,” Arreguin said.