Chemistry in a new light with Mrs. Wells

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Mrs. Wells has been teaching at Northwest for almost 23 years. Her teaching presence has pushed many students to enjoy learning about chemistry.  

Before we knew her as a teacher, Wells wanted to be a doctor. In high school, she belonged to a group named “Women in Medicine” in Houston, TX. In college, Wells majored in chemistry to get a job in medicine later. She then realized she wanted to be able to spend more time with her children, and being a doctor was going to prevent that.   

Wells needed to finish her degree, so she took a teaching internship class and realized that’s what she wanted to do.   

 “I realized it was fun, and I can do this, and I can help kids this way…from there on I fell in love with it,” Wells said.  

Before her years at Northwest High School, Wells taught in many different states, including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Nebraska. 

Wells decided to teach at Northwest to contribute to a better public education for students. She wanted to be part of the community around her and give everything she had to offer.   

Wells loves hands-on learning; one of her favorite teaching techniques is labs. She’s able to see more clearly if a student is struggling and can help them be more successful in the class.   

“Labs build confidence in kids…they become more confident in their ability to do chemistry,” said Wells.   

Wells also taught AP (Advanced Placement) chemistry for 19 years before switching to all honors classes. AP classes were originally two hours long. One year, GCS permanently switched to one hour long and it was difficult for Wells to adjust. She had to change her style of teaching completely because there was so much material to learn. Wells decided to hand off AP Chemistry to Mrs. Haywood.   

Last year’s online learning made it exceedingly difficult for Wells to truly connect with her students and see if they were struggling. She felt as if she didn’t get to know her students, and not being able to see their faces was an obstacle that Wells faced.  

“The inability to help them fix problems that you knew they were having, and you just couldn’t even encourage them [was frustrating],” Wells said.  

In her free time, Wells enjoys hiking and backpacking. Wells is also SCUBA certified and loves the beach. Wells has hiked 50 miles of the Appalachian trail, as well as Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Banff, Stone Mountain and Hanging Rock. Wells loves being outdoors.   

In addition to feeling like her home is outside, Wells also feels at home teaching at Northwest High School. She enjoys going to work every day and hasn’t felt the need to retire. 

“I just love teaching kids,” Wells said.