Mr. Huitema Joins the SLHS Teaching Staff!


Sam Priddy

As you may already know, we have a new Economics and Government/Civics teacher. I sat down with Ben Huitema, who graduated from Hope College in December, to get a hold on the highs and lows of being a new teacher. 

Mr. Huitema didn’t always want to become a teacher; in fact, he originally wanted to major in business. “I discovered that I just wasn’t interested,” he admits, “I decided to try something else.” He realized that teaching was a better option for him. 

He also told me that teaching at Spring Lake wasn’t the original plan. He told me that he had a job lined up, taking over for his mentor teacher at Macatawa Bay Middle School. “I knew more people here, since I used to work summer jobs at the YMCA in Grand Haven, and I really liked the area,” he says. Things fell into place after that, and he was lined up to work here after he graduated from college. 

Naturally, I wanted to know if it was easier for him to teach independently, or if he missed being a student teacher. “Actually, it’s not that bad [teaching on his own],” he told me, “it’s actually better for me, I had college assignments on top of student teaching, and it was a mess to juggle both of those things.” 

After we talked, he left me with some insight for those who want to enter education as a career. “Make sure you like people, especially kids! If you aren’t sure if this is a path you really want to go down, play around with it, and find a job similar to teaching- like being a camp counselor. And it’s always a good job for those who like summers off.” 

Being new to a school isn’t easy, and it doesn’t get any easier when you’re a teacher. Mr. Huitema gave insight into what it is really like. Change isn’t always easy, and your plans definitely change throughout the years, as we’ve seen. But things always will fall into place.