New class, same enthusiasm


Zainub Tremasi

In room B-214, Mrs. Neria feeds Kitsia Arenas, 12, samples of different liquids to experiment with her taste buds as students cover their eyes to gain knowledge about the factors that affect the sense of taste. “Teaching Psychology has been different from the other social studies classes that I have taught because of the experiments,” Mrs. Neria said. “Since it is my first time teaching the subject, sometimes the experiments do not go as I have planned, but my students are patient and kind.”

Rodas Hailu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After over 20 years of enlightening students with United States history, Mrs. Dolores Neria is now teaching Psychology for the first time.

Since more electives were needed at school, Neria was given a Psychology course to teach. Although new to the subject, she did not enter the class without the knowledge of the subject she is teaching. Psychology teachers Ms. Natase and Mrs. Warhurst gave the instructor advice as to how to approach the new class.

“I have taught both AP Psychology and General Psychology in my time here at Downey and over time I have gathered resources (activities, information, etc) that I have used in class,” Nastase said. “Some of these resources were passed on to me by previous Psychology teachers –like Mrs. Warhurst, and some I created,” Nastase said.

Twenty four years after arriving at Downey, Neria’s experiences in teaching social studies have been quite different for a first-time psychology teacher.

“Teaching Psychology has been different from the other social studies classes that I have taught because of the experiments,” Neria said.

Neria is enjoying the new curriculum she has been given; she also appreciates the attentiveness and curiosity of the students she has encountered for her new class, which has created a stronger bond with her mentees.

“I feel they realize I have their best interest at heart, not only with Psychology but also with their college applications and personal issues,” Neria said.

Students, such as  senior Giselle Hernandez, have enjoyed Neria’s presence not only as a teacher but also as someone whom they can confide in.

“She’s always giving me advice, but I would say that she’s told me ‘always shoot for what you want and make sure to always have a goal in life,”’ Hernandez said. “She is always pushing me forward when I think I’m not capable of doing things.”

One of the more memorable experiences the Psychology class has encountered was a taste tasting experiment. The procedure’s purpose was to educate the students on what factors affect the senses, as well as whether or not memories were brought up by certain tastes.

“We had a lot of fun…or I had a lot of fun telling them that they were going to taste alligator,” Neria said.

Even with this new course, Neria has handled this transition with the same passion she once had since she started at Downey years ago.