Into the wood (again)

Turley+taught+at+KHS+for+six+years+before+moving+to+Clayton+High+School+for+two+years.
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Into the wood (again)

Turley taught at KHS for six years before moving to Clayton High School for two years.

Turley taught at KHS for six years before moving to Clayton High School for two years.

Kelley Cochran

Turley taught at KHS for six years before moving to Clayton High School for two years.

Kelley Cochran

Kelley Cochran

Turley taught at KHS for six years before moving to Clayton High School for two years.

For Dr. Eric Turley’s sophomore English students, the first day of class was a series of new: a new year, a new class, a new teacher. For his junior classes, however, the name Turley was familiar.

Turley taught at KHS for six years before moving to Clayton High School for two years. The intrigue of the different English program at Clayton, where English teachers have three classes versus five at KHS, was part of the reason Turley accepted the Clayton position. He also felt the need to leave the comfort zone he had created at KHS.

“I was at a point in my career where I needed to take the risk of [teaching at a new place],” Turley said. “I had been teaching for quite some time and, to be honest, when you teach somewhere for a long time, it’s hard to leave. I realized that if I didn’t take the risk to try something new, it might not happen. I wanted to not have the regret of not trying something.”

Turley said he did not anticipate returning to KHS after he left for Clayton. In the end, the different style of teaching English at Clayton that initially appealed to Turley was also a deciding factor in his return to KHS.

“I decided to leave Clayton [because] I felt like, on a personal level, my life-work balance was really out of whack,” Turley said. “In order to prep for my classes and do my lesson plans and then prep for all those individual conferences, it took a lot more time outside of school than I have [at KHS] with my plan period.”

According to Donna Canan, KHS English department chair, Turley has brought new perspectives and ideas for students from his experience at Clayton. She also said that he has returned to a program that shares a passion for teaching.

I realized that if I didn’t take the risk to try something new, it might not happen.”

— Eric Turley

“[Dr. Turley] always adds new and dynamic ways to get us to think a little bit differently,” Canan said. “I know he’s returning because he loves the celebratory part of KHS and how we have deep traditions and celebrate students.”

Emma Bliss, sophomore, said Turley engages students and encourages class participation. Bliss also said that Turley had a passion for teaching and excitement to teach English.

“[Turley’s teaching style] cause[s] more interaction [and] participation from the class itself,” Bliss said. “He’s a bit more excited about the subject he’s teaching than some of the teachers.”

According to Turley, his time at Clayton benefited him by allowing him to grow as a teacher in a different model. His return to KHS allows him to grow further and apply the things he learned at Clayton.

“I had to read up and learn some new techniques and strategies, and so I think, because of that, I’m a better teacher than I was four years ago,” Turley said. “Had I not left, I probably would not have changed, and I wouldn’t have been forced to grow and expand my thinking about things.”