Additional roles at Brookwood: Social Studies Coordinator; Amory Parker Chair 2013-14; unofficial Rubik’s Cube co-ombudsman
Faculty Member since: 2002
Education: Connecticut College, B.A.; Lesley University, M.Ed.
Favorite children’s book: “Everyone Needs A Rock” by Byrd Baylor & Charlie Parnall
Favorite lesson to teach: Any lesson that taps into a student’s unique expertise to shed more light on both the subject matter and what makes that student special.
Do you have a special memory from elementary school? As a kid, working with my hands in “shop” class was a particular favorite. Mr. Wendell Stickney was a skilled woodworker and teacher who also ran the sugar shack at school producing maple syrup on campus…mmm…I can still smell the sweetness.
Beyond Brookwood: I’ve always worked in the summers to bring kids out on the water to experience the ocean: week-long-trips around Puget Sound on schooners with middle and high school students; trips to Salem Sound; and more recently, leading elementary-age kids in rowing and sailing camps on Cape Ann and Nantucket. I also took a recent trip to Rwanda and Uganda, with science teacher Rich Lehrer. It was as eye-opening as it gets. With portable generators, bed sheets and tape, we were able to screen the movie “Girl Rising” in both countries, and the ensuing discussions were incredible for all involved. Brookwood’s work with the Global Efficient Cookstove Project has made great strides and new connections. I was also able to bring a few dozen Rubik’s Cubes and introduce them to several math teachers and their students in Kigali and rural Uganda. What a trip!
On risk-taking: We frequently ask students to step outside their comfort zone(s) in many ways, often in simulations and role-playing. It helps to model that ourselves and maybe have a little fun doing it. A sense of humor helps, and Brookwood has always encouraged safe risk-taking for both faculty and the students.
What at Brookwood makes you a better teacher? I think that working in a profession where the accountability and feedback is constant and immediate has always appealed to me. I’ve also had that experience on old, chunky wooden boats, sailing offshore for extended periods of the time. The parallels to teaching- My colleagues are always “raising the bar” and instinctively the teachers here support each other in reaching their own potential as well as that of their students.