Current position(s) at GA:
English teacherNumber of years overall at GA (including this year):
Why have you chosen to stay at GA?
I came to GA purely by accident, but I chose to stay for many reasons. The community welcomed me as a young teacher and gave me the opportunity to grow professionally within the community. The faculty and administration respected my opinion from the minute I arrived on campus and recognized my varied interests. They invited me to teach history and math in addition to English and later to explore a variety of leadership positions. GA has also provided me with an opportunity to grow professionally outside of the community. They have encouraged and supported my involvement in state and national professional organizations which have informed and energized my teaching, provided me with an ever-growing professional family, and given me a chance to bring award-winning authors into my classroom via their novels and their visits to GA. What do you most enjoy about teaching at GA?
I love the relationship that I have developed with my students, advisees, and players throughout the years. One of the greatest joys of teaching at GA for forty years is that I have taught, advised, or coached many of the alumni parents, and that, if I am lucky, I get to teach some of their children too. Back-to-School Night in September has become one of my favorite nights of the year.
What do you hope to provide to students in your classes and what do you hope they take away?
At the end of their year with me, I hope that my students have learned to read and think more critically and that they have come to a greater understanding of the world around them as a result of reading and discussing good literature. I hope that my students also have become stronger writers and life-long readers.What do you value about the home/school partnership?
We are blessed at GA to have such a supportive parent body. I love teaching, advising and coaching middle school children and enjoy working closely with their parents. Conferences provide a wonderful opportunity to get to know a student from his/her parent’s prospective. I love hearing the stories and seeing my students in a different light. I also enjoy working with parents to devise a plan for bringing out the very best in their children.
What GA tradition do you enjoy most?
I enjoy graduation the most. It is so much fun to see my former students all grown up and headed to college. I cherish the memories of their Middle School days, celebrate their Upper School accomplishments, and anticipate with joy the excitement of their futures.
What is a classroom activity unique to you?
Over the years I have heard students say that they do not read as much for fun as they did when they were younger. To stimulate interest in free reading, I ask my students to recommend books that they think I should read as a middle school teacher. When I do this in class, we fill the white board with dozens of titles and then I have them lobby for the books that I should read first. By the end of the activity, students often discover a book that they now want to read or rediscover how much they miss reading just for the fun of it. When the students are given time for free reading, I also take them to the library where they can be surrounded by books as they read.What’s the biggest lesson you have learned from your students?
There is no greater reward in life than teaching Middle School students.