Morgan Beckett brings foreign experience to the English department


Morgan Beckett

Beckett is the new AP Seminar, English 10, and English 9 teacher at FHC and brings her worldwide experience to the classroom.

It’s not uncommon for FHC teachers to be from Grand Rapids or surrounding areas, but very few have had the international teaching experience that English teacher Morgan Beckett has had.

Although Beckett was born and raised in Belding, Michigan, she wanted to expand her horizons and experience an entirely new environment. Despite the fact that she initially wanted to be a writer, her exceptional language skills were put to use in her teaching careers in Romania and Spain as an English Foreign Language and English Literature teacher.

“I thought I wanted to just travel and see the world, but I actually fell in love with teaching,” Beckett said. “When I left that whole adventure after four years, it was just like, ‘I can’t picture myself doing anything else,’ so I went back to school and got my teaching degree.”

From there, Beckett taught at Belding schools and decided to settle down in West Michigan. Her teaching has taken her to lots of different places, and each one has brought a new and unique experience.

Schools in other countries, and even other areas of the state, are run differently than FHC, as one may imagine. When abroad, Beckett didn’t see the same students every day, which was certainly a different situation than in the U.S. Additionally, she taught all grade levels, not just the freshman and juniors that she currently teaches.

“All of the schools that I’ve taught at have been so drastically different,” Beckett said. “Abroad has a completely different system. I’d teach a second-grade speaking class, and then, I’d go right into an 11th [grade] American Literature [class where] we were reading 1984.

Things in Europe were undoubtedly unfamiliar for Beckett, so it was surely a vastly different environment when she came back to Michigan to teach in the area where she grew up.

Despite the fact that her travels have taught her countless lessons, Beckett wanted some time closer to home. After teaching in Detroit at a performing arts school, her journey led her back to where it started in Belding. She took up a teaching position and was instantly hit with nostalgia.

“Belding is a small town; [it’s] also my small town,” Beckett said. “I was teaching alongside my former teachers, so the demographic, the way they do school, [and] the culture of the school were all very, very different.”

Books just spoke to something about what it meant to be human that I couldn’t find in other subjects when I was in high school.

— Morgan Beckett

Belding may have been a return trip for Beckett, but it certainly wasn’t the last stop on her teaching path. Since she arrived at FHC, Beckett has felt comfortable and has enjoyed working with the students.

Even though Beckett has experience in teaching all ages, she does find her groove with certain grades. Teaching at the high school level is a good fit for her, and teaching the freshman has been especially rewarding.

“[All grades] have their own unique thing, and I’m still kind of figuring it out,” Beckett said. “Right now, I’m really enjoying [teaching] freshman; they’re still super new [and] getting used to school, so it’s fun to watch that. But, I also love teaching juniors, because when I was in high school, my junior year was my favorite, so I can kind of see that in my students.”

With her ability to adapt to new situations and connect with students, it’s no surprise that Beckett has found success as a teacher. Thankfully, the route to her specialty was also a fairly straight shot.

Since she was young, Beckett knew she wanted a career in English, even before she planned to become a teacher. Since it was her favorite subject in high school, she realized her forte was in the English department. Along with other English components, books stood out to Beckett as an important part of her life and the world altogether.

“Books just spoke to something about what it meant to be human that I couldn’t find in other subjects when I was in high school,” Beckett said. “Granted, now that I’m older, I’ve seen humanity and a lot more things than I did when was eighteen. But, I still feel like books expose us to a lot of necessary truths, and we can access them at any time.”

It is this very love of the subject and books that makes Beckett so passionate and willing to explore new options within her career. She has seen more of the teaching world than most in the relatively short amount of time that she has been a teacher.

FHC is fortunate to have Beckett as a new teacher because of her acquired knowledge of a multitude of English teaching styles, as well as her commitment to students and the curriculum. The feeling is mutual as Beckett has had a positive experience throughout her time as an FHC teacher. 

“[It’s been] very warm and welcoming,” Beckett said. “I really appreciate that, especially [from] the staff and the students. I’ve been trying to get involved right away, so I like the energy here. I feel like I’m starting to fit in.”