2020 Retiring faculty: Ms. Janice Carr

Janice Carr

Janice Carr

By Andre Rodas, Print Editor-in-Chief

Your first name: Janice

Your last name: Carr

What subject(s) do you teach? English

What classes did you teach this year? H.English 10A/B, English 10A/B, English 11A/B, H. English 11A/B

What year did you begin teaching? 1996

How many years have you been a teacher? 24

How many years have you taught at Van Nuys High? 24

Did you have a prior career? If yes, what was it?

THEATRE, dahling! Musicals, to be exact!

What changes have you seen over the course of your career? Have they been positive, negative, or neutral? How did they impact your teaching?

Wow! Over the 24 years at VNHS, I’ve had the privilege to work with 5 Principals and approximately 10 different LAUSD Superintendents. That’s quite a few academic reforms to roll with. However, no matter the program, focus, or reform, everyone had the success of the STUDENT in mind. I feel I was able to adapt to each change and make it successful for all of my students. Still loved the days when fear of a lawsuit was not the LAUSD go to. Those Downtown Odyssey field trips were the best!!!

What were your biggest concerns when you began teaching? Did they turn out to be justified?

Yeah, I thought, YIKES, I was not going to be able to get to auditions and further my theatre career. So I just looked at teaching as 5 shows a day with a captive audience! The English curriculum /material lent itself to dramatic interpretation. So I thought, hey, maybe I could do this for 6 weeks, maybe longer? Turned out to be my longest run to date.

Why did you decide to become a teacher in the first place?

I had a double major at SUNY Geneso: theatre and education. (My mother, Rita Jane, counseled that maybe I should have something to ‘fallback on,’ in case the theatre thing didn’t work out…) wise advice, Mother Dear!

What did you like most about teaching?

That moment when the kids ‘got it’! When they saw the purpose of the elements of literature as the elements of LIFE! Also, have to give it back to them (the students). They kept me young and on trend. I can DANCE!

What moment at Van Nuys High will you remember the most?

Too many to remember. All the Graduations, Proms, picnics, banquets. activities–working with the kids on everything was fabulous.

What was your worst teacher moment?

Let’s not go there…

What are your plans after you retire? I have 3 main plans: 1. Political Activism with “Black Lives Matter” support 2. Keep my gigantic garden working 3. Getting my website Vegan95.com active with users and commentators.