On teaching at FCS…

Whether I am teaching in the classroom or coaching, I am very lucky to be able to share my passions with Friends’ Central students. Our students are very interested in developing their understanding, knowledge and skills. They love to learn, and it is what makes being a member of this community so valuable. Our diverse students are bright and motivated, and help to make me a better teacher and person. They come to class ready to learn, interact with the material in thoughtful and critical ways, and will even say “thank you” as they leave the classroom. It always makes me smile when students come back to the Middle School feeling excited to tell me that what they are learning in the Upper School they remember learning for the first time in my science class. I appreciate their memory of the material as well as their desire to share their excitement with me. I believe it is our students that make FCS such a special place to teach.

But FCS teachers are pretty special too! They bring a wealth of knowledge and varied interests into classroom. I have learned a great deal about teaching and the needs of students from my colleagues. They have inspired and helped me to create a curriculum that is both challenging and interesting to students. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to share ideas with people who care so much about teaching and the well-being of students. I work in a very special place and feel lucky everyday.

On favorite lessons…

While one particular lesson does not stand out as being my favorite, some lessons are particularly enjoyable and rewarding. Due to the receptivity of our students, I have often felt that almost any topic could be of interest. Students are insightful, ask wonderful questions, and have a lot to add to classroom discussions. Over the years, the lessons that have given me the most satisfaction have been the ones that challenge students. This is especially true when they are introduced to a new chemistry concept that seems too difficult at first. Many students have an “ah hah” moment, and become quite pleased with themselves, after seeing the patterns and making connections. These are the lessons that are particularly memorable.

A hobby that I have been able to share with those at FCS is my interest in gardening. At home, I have been able to create a colorful and healthy perennial garden along with a small vegetable garden. A few years ago, I had a desire to add both color and interest around the Middle School. I created a service group that planted bulbs, shrubs and native plants around the School. An issue that we have been trying to manage is the water run-off from the buildings and impervious surfaces. We have installed rain barrels and created gardens to capture rainwater and allow it to filter slowly back into the soil. It is rewarding to be able to share my interests outside of the classroom with the Friends’ Central community.