Fillers follows heart through teaching social studies


Varshitha Korrapolu

CHS9 AP human geography teacher Annie Fillers helps CHS9 student Ashwath Jagtap with a practice multiple choice question as the students are preparing for the upcoming AP exam. Fillers graduated from the University of North Texas in 2018 and has been teaching at CHS9 since.

Varshitha Korrapolu, Communications Manager

Despite not originally planning on becoming a teacher, CHS9 AP human geography teacher Annie Fillers enjoys her job as she is surrounded by children and a subject she is passionate about. 

Fillers places an emphasis on ensuring that students know how to apply the knowledge they gain in class in the real world. She also likes to keep up with current events so that students can connect to concepts.

Prior to teaching at CHS9, Fillers attended the University of North Texas and graduated in 2018 with a teaching certification. She has been teaching at CHS9 since the 2018-2019 school year and is coming to Coppell High School in the fall to teach AP world history and U.S. history.

Did you always want to be a social studies teacher? 

The reason why I choose social studies is because I genuinely enjoy history in general and geographic concepts. I think they are really fun. It was something that I was good at when I was in school. Even now as an adult, I love to continue to learn new things about social studies and history. 

How would you describe your teaching style?

I like to do more student-centered learning. I will introduce the concept, we will talk about it as a group and then I like my students to take that concept and explore it on their own and find different examples of how it’s used in the world. I think [when] we do the learning on our own, it’s more meaningful. We find examples that mean something to us.

If you could pick a career besides teaching, what would it be and why?

I would be a veterinarian because I love animals. That’s what I was going to school to be originally. But something I really struggled with was open wounds. They started to creep me out and gross me out. So I was like, “I don’t think this is the career path for me anymore.” I always had jobs that involved kids, so I thought teaching would be a good match for me. I started to think about what are things that interested me or things that would be fun to teach. I was stuck between teaching English and social studies. So I thought “If I had to sit through classes as a college student right now, what am I going to enjoy most,” and I landed on social studies. 

Describe yourself in one word. 

I think I would describe myself as a bubbly person. I’m typically really happy. Not a whole lot bothers me. I like to have a good time. 

What is your favorite cuisine? 

My favorite is Tex-Mex. I think my favorite dish would have to be enchiladas. But recently, I am shifting into fajitas, which is weird because I really like saucy foods. As a young child, my parents also liked Tex-Mex so that’s usually where we would go out to eat. I think that’s why that’s one of my favorites. 

What is something that people don’t know about you? 

I am a very shy person. I work really hard to put myself out there. Especially with teaching, it’s really important to communicate well and create a fun classroom environment which requires the teacher to be outgoing. That’s something that as I started my teaching career, I really had to work hard on because I am naturally introverted. I had to turn on an extroverted personality sometimes. Now, I am used to it. Whenever my kids come in, we are loud and have fun. When I go into my conference period, I recharge my social battery. 

What are your short term and long term goals? 

Since I am teaching geography and I love teaching geography, I would one day like to see myself teaching maybe something different for a new challenge. Long term, I love being in the classroom and a lot of times long term goals tend to mean moving up on the ladder. Long term, I want to be in a junior or senior level class, but right now I am enjoying freshmen. 

What is your favorite aspect about being a teacher?

I love hanging out and talking and getting to know all of my students. It is my utmost favorite part. It’s something I do everyday. I love it when students come in or are excited to talk to me about something. I just love getting to know students.

If you could tell your past self something, what would it be and why?

I think I would tell myself to not care what other people think. Growing up, I think I cared a lot and I don’t really know when the transition happened to not caring. Maybe it’s something that comes with age. Eventually, you find your people and they accept you no matter what. Don’t care what other people think, just be who you are. 

How has teaching social studies impacted your life? 

I feel like it forces me to be more aware of what’s going on in the world around me. With human geography, so many of the concepts that we learn are going on as we are living our day to day lives. I like to be able to give not only historical examples but if there are present day examples that I can give, I like to be keeping up with whatever is going on. 

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