On teaching…

Teaching is my best self. It is a real rush being in the middle of a great class and to know I am partly responsible for it. That sounds obnoxious though…so how about this, it is in teaching that I fully realize my responsibility for engaging young citizens on issues that deeply matter. I see wisdom amidst their collective innocence which is sometimes deeply inspiring.

FCS is so full of awesome, self-motivated, curious, and thoughtful students. All I have to do is to tap into what is already there.

On favorite lessons…

I like lessons that leave room for ambiguity, lessons that challenge students to make up their own minds. One lesson I have done for a good half dozen years is a lesson in which I put Harry Truman on trial for the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In this lesson, students truly take leadership roles. For more than a week every year, I simply sit back and watch students wrestle with moral, ethical, and political questions that have relevance to this day.

Outside interests…

I really enjoy gardening, also all things Irish, reading, and playing and watching sports. Also I’m very much involved in my local neighborhood’s civic association and on the parish council, a leadership role, at my church, a Roman Catholic church in Germantown.

On FCS teachers…

Egos come second. Kids come first.

I truly feel that we put the kids first. This is our biggest strength…for all my disagreements and differences with other teachers over the years, I have always felt that most people really do what they think is best for the kids. And though I have very strong feelings about pedagogy, I have come to believe that there is no one correct way to teach all children. I still believe that my approach is still best for most kids…but as long as adults truly try to do what they think is right for children then students will be truly very well served. We put kids first.