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Vivre Le Professeurs By Kanika Miller

Want to know more about some of your teachers and what they value? Laurie Zimmerman, Scott Allenby, Phillip Goodnow, Jon Beard, and Lindsay Brown reveal what they value most as a teacher, why they are teaching, and why they chose Proctor Academy.

People have many possibilities when choosing their profession, they can choose based on their passion, money, or what they believe is practical. Why did you choose teaching? Scott Allenby: “I chose to teach because of my desire to share my love for learning with adolescents. Additionally, working at a school like Proctor allows me to coach, teach, advise, and work with students in multiple ways outside of just a formal classroom setting. “ Laurie Zimmerman: “Initially, I chose teaching after a career as an editor in California. When I had my first baby, I wanted something that would allow me to spend more time with my child--and summers and holidays sounded good to me.” (Laurie Zimmerman) Lindsay Brown: “I have always wanted to be a teacher. I love working with kids, I love learning myself, and I love helping kids feel confident.”


Jon Beard: “I chose teaching because I enjoy working with people, and I like to participate in people's growth as individuals and students.” Philip Goodnow: “Because I wanted to work with adolescents and I felt I could teach them better than the teachers who taught me. I was not a strong student and desperately needed teachers like me to reach out to me...if you know what I mean.”

There are many schools, public and private, all across the America. With all those options, how did you end up in Andover, NH and why did you choose Proctor Academy of all schools? What about Proctor appealed to you? Scott: “I love the freedom to develop my own curriculum and to interact with students through more than one medium.” Laurie: “Here at Proctor I can develop my own curriculum, teach at a higher content level than when I taught in public school, and be on a campus that's incredibly beautiful." Jon: “I like the variety of activities I engage in at Proctor. I also love having the opportunity to share my knowledge of Chinese, which is one of my favorite things in the world to learn about.” Lindsay: “The flexibility to do more [hands on] activities with my students. I love the small atmosphere. I love dorm life and that my day starts with you at 730 and ends at 11. I get to see my students in the dorm, on the field, in a play,


AND in my class. I like feeling free of conventional rules and regulations. I like having the opportunity to work with colleagues who are different from me.” Phil: “The informality of the learning. Proctor is about human connections not prestige. We're educators pursuing multiple teachable moments every day.”

While loving teaching at Proctor Academy, like all jobs there are things that are not obvious on the surface. What would you like to reveal to your students about your work? Scott: “Nothing, I feel there is a good balance of my openness with students and professionalism.” Laurie: “I spend more than 60 hours a week at my job and get paid far less than one student's tuition. When I don't have a paper back to a student right away, it's hurtful to hear, "Why aren't you grading our stuff?” Lindsay: “Sometimes I wonder if they know HOW much time and effort I put into thinking about them, what interests them, what will get them excited.”


Phil: “(that the students are not aware of) this question means.”

Not sure what

Teachers at boarding schools work long hours in teaching, coaching, dorm parenting, and advising. Just how long do you work with their students? Scott: “50 hours “ Laurie: “About a fourth of my work time--maybe 15 hours a week; the rest is spent in grading, writing college recs., answering parent emails, preparing classes, and attending meetings that are overall time wasters. Spending time with students is really my favorite part of the job, but it is relegated to being the least part of the job, which is shameful.”


Lindsay: “I spend roughly 10 hours a week with the students that are in my classes for the intended purpose of teaching (i.e., they are not in my dorm, or my sport, just class stuff)”

People have the tendency to put more effort towards what they think is most important. What is most valuable use of time for you as a teacher? Scott: “Extra help and 1-1 sessions with students where they can ask questions and truly understand the content we are studying. “ Laurie: “Classroom [time with the students is the most valuable time]” Jon: “I think the most valuable use of time as a teacher, for me, is one-on-one time. I feel like I can get to know a student better and help him or her find ways of learning that really work for the individual.” Lindsay: “Working with students in small groups” Phil: “Class time and 1v1 work [with the students]”


Let’s assume there are enough faculty to teach all the classes. If you could teach any class within reason, what would it be? Scott: “I would love to start a management/leadership class. “ Laurie: “I already created a class here. to create another, it would be a writing lab. program.”

But if I were Also, an ESL

Lindsay: “Math applications class. A class that would ONLY be about word problems, math modeling, and applying math to real life projects.” Phil: “If you could create a class, what would it be? History of Military Technology”

The

After talking to these wonderful teachers, I have come to understand them better. I have burst the small bubble of awareness on


my world, and learned something of their worlds. What have you learned about your teachers?

Vivre Le Professeurs  

A questionaire with Proctor Academy's Teachers