Tenure at Brookwood: 15 years
Favorite children’s book: Miss Rumphious, by Barbara Cooney. She reminds us that we should have three responsibilities as we grow. Firstly, to visit and see new places in the world. And when we have finished the global explorations we should find a place (by the sea) to live comfortably. Most important of all, each of us must find a way to make the world a better place.
Favorite lesson to teach: All lessons that help us to remember to be human while we strengthen our academic skills. I had a wonderful, inspiring elementary teacher, Miss Lays, who was confident that I could learn if we worked together. She viewed the world in a much greater way than most of her teaching peers. Because of that she found ways for me to feel empowered in my learning. She created opportunities for me to show my intelligence in more than the limited ways, even though I was expected to learn those skills as well.
Beyond Brookwood: My elementary education was in many countries and states throughout the United States. Most summers I came to Byfield, MA to in a family house. I enjoy family time, travel, reading, going to the movies, and doing chores around the house ...especially wood chopping getting ready for our New England winters.
On risk-taking: One person's risk is another person's ease. Regardless of where our leaning into discomfort falls, we all should take risks. Research has shown that the optimum learning percentage falls roughly into three categories. 10-20% should be rote, easy, and require minimal thought. 60-80 percent should be hard work, but not require you to push yourself but not unduly. 10-20% percent should be especially hard, something outside one's comfort zone, and a risk-taking opportunity. If a student spends too much time in the first 10-20%, there is ennui, disengagement, and not the excitement and sense of success and accomplishment we seek in the learning process. If too much time is spent in the last 10-20%, the environment becomes too stressful and cortisol levels spike, a potential hindrance to learning. Knowing that one can manage and take a risk is a very necessary skill for being an active, engaged, and successful student.
What at Brookwood makes you a better teacher? The community of my peers, the parents, and students. Working together for a common goal of making our students academically accomplished members of the community who act with conscience, character, and compassion.