New Faculty Arrive at Milton
by Hannah Widerman on Friday, September 30th, 2016
The educators at Milton are an essential part of the community, as they help shape every generation of students. Being from different areas and backgrounds, just like the students, Milton’s teachers are able to share their experiences with the rest of the school. In addition, the teachers help broaden students thinking while simultaneously developing close relationships with them. That being said, Milton excitedly welcomes many new teachers to the community for the 2016-2017 school year.
The way Milton allows students to lead discussions “makes the teacher…more involved, so [they] can learn together” according to Dr. Zeynep Isvan. Dr. Isvan is an Honors Algebra II and Honors Calculus teacher originally from Istanbul, Turkey. She first “fell in love with the idea of teaching [at a boarding school] when [her] husband was teaching at the Kent School.” Isvan said that the untraditional Milton math curriculum “is more project based, so students can learn by doing, and [she] really appreciate this open mindedness.”
Tori Lockwood is another new math teacher. She is from Traverse City, Michigan and teaches Honors Algebra II and Geometry. She attended Wellesley College where she earned a bachelor of arts. Lockwood always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but originally wanted to teach Physics. In college, she realized that she “liked math better than science and dove into math” and changed her path. According to her, Milton was “a bit of a change” from the arts academy where she had previously had a teaching fellowship because of the “different priorities.” The arts academy expected students to focus on dance or visual arts rather than athletics. Despite the differences, this arts academy was where Ms. Lockwood realized she “liked the boarding school model.” She adds that the “curriculum [at Milton] is a little bit different” because the “math department is excited to try new things in class and shake it up.” Ms. Lockwood says her transition into the Milton community has been very smooth, stating that the faculty “have been very welcoming while [she has] been learning the new intricacies.”
A teaching fellowship allows young educators to “teach a reduced course load while earning a master,” according to Olivia Robbins. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Robbins teaches Class IV English and Founding Voices. While in college, she found her passion for teaching after working at different correctional facilities for male inmates aged between 18 and 35. She taught them creative writing, current events, and philosophy. Enjoying the experience so much, she found her “want to teach forever.” Robbins said the Harkness table and the “architecture of the space and desks” are big changes compared with what she has seen previously. However, she describes that it is “nice to have an intimate space where everyone knows it’s a shared responsibility to participate and be present.” Ms. Robbins feels like she is “a part of the learning” since both students and teachers “count on each other.” Robbins enjoys Milton’s close proximity to Boston, as well as the “convenience of close faculty housing.” During her adjustment period, Robbins said that everyone has been kind and generous, adding that the “funny and outgoing sense of humor” at Milton has made her feel at home.
Patrick Owens is a Precalculus and Honors Statistics teacher from Hartford, Connecticut. In his choosing Milton, he found interest “Milton’s commitment to diversity and community.” He had visited a few schools before but found Milton “different from the others.” As a student, he went to a very small private school and loved the intimate connections he formed with his teachers. He realized that he could “make an impact on students in this field.” Although this different method went “against his first inclination,” he believes that Milton allows him to be “more involved in the learning process.” This year is his third year at Milton after his two year Penn Fellowship Program. Mr. Owens describes that Penn Pals “don’t typically stay on, but [he] was fortunate to have a position open up!” His previous training and mentoring at Milton has been a “big benefit” in that he “[taught] while learning how to teach” at the same time. Owens is also an advisor for a sophomore group in Goodwin House. Although he describes being an advisor as a big role and “hard transition,” he finds the experience of “getting to know kids beyond textbooks” rewarding.
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