Teacher Feature: Ms. Beth Hopman

beth hopman
Allison Kostiuk

When it comes to teachers with heart and humor, Ms. "Hop" Hopman tops the list. Now in her 21st year of teaching at OLMA, Ms. Hop is enjoying the challenges of distance learning. "Things are going great so far," she said. "The girls are energetic and retaining the material well. They arrive on time, and there's a lot of interaction, just as there would be in the actual classroom."

Ms. Hop is one busy lady teaching AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and College Prep Chemistry I and II. "Labs were probably the biggest adjustment, but I've found some great resources online," she said. "I also give the girls experiments that they can try at home, and I've had great luck with virtual labs. In some cases, the girls learn from watching someone else do experiments online. In others, they perform interactive labs. They're able to do things like select the right materials and fill beakers. It's pretty cool, and we're all having fun."

Ms. Hop commends companies like Fisher Scientific and Collision Chemistry for creating new resources to help make learning Chemistry from home a lot more feasible and fun. She's especially grateful that most are gifting their tools. "While I prefer to be back in the classroom, I'm glad I found some new resources," said Ms. Hop. "I will continue using many of them once we're back."

In addition to teaching, Ms. Hop is helping to keep students connected when they're not in class. As part of the  Villagers Unite: Mind, Body, and Soul  program launched over Easter Break, Ms. Hop hosted a virtual Family Feud Game Show. Teams of five girls each competed against each other. The winning team plays another one, round after round until the winners emerge. "It's so funny because this game happened by accident," said Ms. Hop. "I found an old deck of Family Feud cards and thought, 'why not give it a try.' I use the cards and a whiteboard, that's it. Somehow, it caught on. One night, I had to stop the game after almost three hours so that I could make dinner! I love it, though, and am happy to do it."

We're so glad, Ms. Hop, and can't imagine OLMA without you in it.

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