Social Studies A.P. Wears Multiple Hats

By Daina Potter ‘17

Coming from a small school and going into Midwood can be difficult, but Ms. Beth Vershleiser is ready for the challenge. Ms. Vershleiser is the new assistant principal of the social studies department and also the athletic director.

Ms. Vershleiser thinks Midwood is a great school with an even better reputation.  She has two of the busiest jobs in the school. However, she is used to doing many jobs at once.

Ms. Vershleiser came from Brooklyn Studio Secondary School; this is where she started her career. She was there when the school opened 18 years ago, and was an extremely active leader in the school.

  “I’ve taught every single grade at one point in my career,” she said. Teaching wasn’t her only role in the school.

Ms. Vershleiser said while laughing, “I was the program chair, department coordinator, dean, and athlete director. I had a lot of responsibilities.”

Now at Midwood she has even more responsibilities. As the athletic director she is in charge of dealing with the coaches, parents and the teams overall.  She makes sure all PSAL rules are being followed and that there are no issues. Some challenges she faces in her role as athletic director are practice space for teams and communication with coaches and parents. Even so, she has also applied for new sports to be added to the school.

“We have applied for girl’s flag football, hopefully, it happens,” said Ms. Vershleiser.

  Ms. Vershleiser isn’t new to the Midwood area. In her high school years she attended Murrow, and also graduate school at Brooklyn College.  She always wanted to teach at a big school, and Midwood was her opportunity.

“As much as I treasured my school, I wanted to experience a big school, I always envisioned myself in a large school,” she said.

“I was a product of big schools,” said Ms. Vershleiser, smiling proudly.  Big schools have a lot to offer to its students, especially Midwood. A big school environment made her want to come to this school. Compared to her other school, Midwood students are more independent, the number of administers are larger, there are older traditions and the school is more diverse. However, there are some minor inconveniences that come with that.

“It takes longer to get to classes, and as an administrator, I’m having a hard time having teachers meet and collaborate. I like teachers meeting in groups,” she said. Even with these setbacks, she still enjoys being a Hornet.

Being an athletic director and the new assistant principal of the social studies department makes Ms. Vershleiser excited to come to work every day.  She loves teaching, and isn’t afraid to express it.

“I love talking about teaching and working with students. I still like the idea of learning,” she said. She talks about it so much that people usually tell her to give it a rest.  But her dedication to her job and teaching is admirable as well as empowering.  It makes her the prefect addition to Midwood.  This dedication keeps her up at night, working at home. She hopes to bring positive change to her new roles.DSCN9407

Ms. Vershleiser hopes to add social science classes, anthropology, and also psychology to the social studies department. In addition to adding new courses to the social studies department, she also teaches U.S. History to 11th graders. She prefers U.S. history and has been teaching it for 14 years. Many of the students didn’t know her, and she didn’t know them so it was an adjustment for everyone. So, she adds humor and honesty, and she creates a comfortable learning environment for her students. Her classroom is set up in a particular way, and she uses routines such as having a regular Aim and Do Now’ as the base of her teaching.

“I think a good teacher should have a toolbox of many things,” said Ms. Vershleiser. She demonstrates this in her classroom while she teaching U.S. History. She uses hand on activities, such as group work, gallery walks, and visuals.

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