First day of school is start to a new career for one Shasta Middle School teacher

Shannon Evans is starting her first year of teaching at Shasta Middle School. Photo by Audrey Weil.

EUGENE, Ore. - It's the start of a new school year, and for one middle school teacher, that means the start of a new career.

Shannon Evans is teaching 6th grade English Language Arts at Shasta Middle School.

She always imagined herself in the classroom one day.

"I'm really happy and thankful to be here," Evans said.

"I started out with the dream of being an English language arts teacher and then I had this little voice in my head saying 'what if what if what if you pursued acting,'" she said, so she wound up starting her career on stage. "Still just loving language arts and Shakespeare."

After leaving the stage, she worked for Disney programming apps until she realized teaching was really her calling.

"I wanted a career that really meant something to me, and that I was really passionate about that could have longevity," Evans said.

That's how she found herself at Shasta.

"I know people are like 'Why do you? Middle school? My gosh it's such a crazy time,' and that's kind of exactly why I love it," she said.

Evans says she's excited to teach them writing and help them express themselves, part of the reason she got the job.

"Just to have that energy and excitement for learning - it's really fun for the kids to feed off that," Shasta Principal Brady Cottle said.

Some of the lesson plans draw on her own experiences, like acting: "Kids are going to come up with their own vignettes for a fable or fairy tale and then perform it for Clear Lake Elementary."

And digital media: "Building their own slideshows, choosing their own images, choosing their own poems that they want to feature."

And overall the inspiration to follow their dreams: "That paths don't always go in a straight line, but that they can pursue what really means a lot to them."

Just like she did.

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