What do you love most about your job?
Although RPCS was not my first “real world job,” I’ve spent most of my working life here. I can honestly say that I have never been bored or felt stuck in my work life. I truly look forward to teaching every class, every day. Teaching requires a strange combination of creativity, focus, planning, spontaneity, flexibility, and patience. I love the energy students bring to the classroom and yes, even when they’re not full of vim and vigor, it’s a fun challenge to get them up and moving intellectually (and sometimes even physically). Every class is like an ever-shifting puzzle. Teaching is hard work, but also a whole lot of fun.
What are specific traits you work to identify and grow in students?
Although I am passionate about history, I am well aware that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I want my students to understand how the past informs the present and make those connections. When we grapple with the thorny questions of the past, such as why our Founders did not abolish slavery in our new republic, we come to know that history is multi-dimensional. It is a human story, and humans are “messy.” So, I urge students not to agonize over memorizing dates and facts, but focus instead on the knots and tangles of our past. Once they engage with the material at a deeper, more complex level the details are easier to remember.
Why did you choose to work in an all-girls education environment?
Attending a woman’s college was one of the most empowering and life changing adventures of my life. The bonds forged in an all-girls’ school last forever- it was true decades ago when I went to college, and based on what our RPCS alumnae tell us, it is just as true today.
Why did you choose RPCS?
Good Fortune! I moved to Baltimore to be with my (now) husband. I had taken half a year off to travel around the country and volunteer on a political campaign. I then worked in fundraising for a non-profit for half a year and just as I decided that was definitely NOT my bailiwick, I heard that the RPCS college counseling job was open. It was June and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Why is education at the grade level you teach important?
Education at every level is important! Currently I teach US history to juniors, who are on the cusp of taking up the reigns of full political participation through voting. Understanding the foundation of our nation’s history is as important today as it has ever been. We need fully engaged citizens who are independent thinkers and problem solvers. I always tell my students that they are the ones who will take care of me in my old age--- so I have a vested interest in making sure they are ready to tackle the challenges ahead!