Fifth/Sixth Grade Teacher
There are many things I love about teaching at Flint Hill, but a few things stick out to me greatly. One of the first things that come to mind when I think about what I love about Flint Hill is how much students here enjoy learning. Each class I teach is enthusiastic about the lesson for the day, and all students participate with eagerness. We tend to do a lot of projects in my classes, and the students are always very involved in them. I had a handful of students stay in from recess and break time recently to make sure that the water filter they were creating for a project was actually pumping clear water. Their mission for this project was to engineer a solution to a problem in the book “A Long Walk to Water,” and they chose to create a filter to solve the problem of lack of clean, running water in Sudan. I couldn't even begin to tell you how they made this pump work, but they did it! The second thing I love most about teaching at Flint Hill is the ability to grow as a teacher. I feel like I really now know who I am as a teacher through the professional development and philosophies that Flint Hill has enabled me to take part in and discover. I feel like I am able to be myself, as I learn and try new things each year.
My favorite part of the school day is the little parts of each day where I am able to witness students being themselves. This means the early mornings before Advisory starts when students trickle in and hang out and chat with me. It also includes listening to their conversations and humor during Advisory, lunch, homeroom time and carpool. That's when I feel like I am most able to witness them being kids instead of students with tasks, and those are the times of the day when I feel like we are all relaxed and are able to make each other laugh.
My favorite thing to teach in the last year has been “Romeo and Juliet.” Sometimes, students find the language hard to comprehend and only a handful of students want to reenact the parts, but this year, my seventh graders were all in. They all took turns reading (and sometimes acting out the dramatic parts!), and they loved it. By the end, they were fluent at reading Shakespeare, and we didn't have to spend much time deciphering the meanings of his words since they were able to understand what they were reading through their reenactments. I felt like they were able to have fun with reading something that could have been daunting.
I really hope my students learn the real-world applications of everything we are learning in my classes. A lot of the books we read in Sixth Grade Language Arts and English 7 have themes and problems from the present day, and we are able to make connections to why reading about these topics (like lack of clean, running water in parts of the world or the Holocaust) will serve them in better understanding the world. In math class, there are always real-world applications, and it's fun to see them discover how solving something like unit rates can help make it easier to shop on a budget (or how percents are used to calculate free-throw averages!).