My first winter teaching was an eye-opener. With teaching several science classes, working with students of varying age levels and abilities, and tutoring, I realized that in order to be successful, I needed to be somewhat flexible and always prepared for the unexpected. An approach that worked for one class might be inappropriate for another. Often the behavior of a class would be different due to the proximity to the lunch period. It became apparent that it was important to be creative but, most of all, to make learning an ongoing adventure.
Perhaps the most essential ingredient to the success of a place like Rectory is the people who work here. This includes not only the people who teach classes, but administrative support, coaches, and maintenance, and grounds people. The people who choose to work here are not taking a job as much as they are adopting a way of life. Often, when I am lagging in energy or having difficulty dealing with a situation, I turn to one of the senior faculty members for suggestions or advice. Perhaps what is most amazing is that these people who juggle teaching, coaching, and dormitory “parenting” can still find time and energy to be so supportive of their colleagues. Sometimes, I can tell that a child is distracted in class, or preoccupied only to find out from one of the maintenance personnel that this particular individual is out of sorts due to a conflict with a member of his dormitory.
It is a privilege to work in an environment where one has the camaraderie and support of so many dedicated people. But perhaps the greatest reward of all is the feeling of making a contribution to the learning experience of so many young people.
Francesca Morano, Faculty, Rectory Vision, Summer 1995