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Frazier Fits Right In After Busy First Year

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Kelli Frazier is getting her feet wet in her second year at Hayward High.

Kelli Frazier is getting her feet wet in her second year at Hayward High.

MaryJane Arciniega

MaryJane Arciniega

Kelli Frazier is getting her feet wet in her second year at Hayward High.

Stephanie Barajas, Staff Writer

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Teaching can be challenging to begin with. It’s something that gradually becomes easier and easier through experience and creativity. No one knows this better than Kelli Frazier, 29, one of the newest teachers on Hayward High’s staff.

“It was difficult to get to know my students coming in half into the year, as well as set up lesson plans and establish myself as a teacher,” Frazier said.

Frazier admits it was very stressful as she attempted to keep from being too  disciplinary, while still wanting to be a respected authority figure. She wanted her students to take her seriously, but not give them the wrong impression either.

“She’s just a down-to-earth teacher who deals with students in a way that they can relate,” former student Sharlyn McClendon said. “She’s young and she knows how to have fun while teaching at the same time,”

Frazier grew up in the Bay Area where she started attending junior college right out of high school, but she wasn’t sure what she wanted to pursue. So, in her early 20s she moved to Southern California, where she signed up for the online college, University of Phoenix, to pursue a major in psychology. While doing this, she worked as a waitress for eight years while taking improv and stand up classes at a theater in Los Angeles.

“I performed improv comedy at the theater for three years; it was awesome,” Frazier said.

Frazier integrates her improv skills in her teaching style, making students become more interested in learning about history. This is also where she met her husband, who was also into comedy. Soon enough, Frazier and her husband decided to move back to the Bay Area to get married and start a family. They now have a 3-year-old daughter.

After I had my daughter, I started a credential program at California State University of East Bay to become a teacher,” Frazier said.

Frazier began as an intern, juggling college, her family, and her new journey as a teacher. She was hired for the second semester in early 2015 after the abrupt passing of teacher Michael Aylward in November of 2014. His sudden passing left his U.S and World History classes without a teacher.

“It was really great because the people, the staff, here at Hayward High are really supportive so it was helpful to have them on my side,” Frazier said.

Frazier has a little over a year under her belt at Hayward High, and she feels more relaxed since she can use lessons from last year. She also does not have to stress over college.

“I’m not as busy now; [I’m] relaxed [and] more excited about teaching,” Frazier said. “I get to be more creative, which is great for both the students and I.”

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Frazier Fits Right In After Busy First Year