The Admission Office
Came to Berkshire: 2010
Where does your passion for teaching come from? My passion for teaching comes from a deep-seated love for learning that was instilled in me during my own time as a student in boarding school. Ultimately, my goal in my classes is to try to pass on any amount of that love-for-learning that I possibly can. It is nearly impossible to excite students every class on every topic; the content of high school classes is too broad to do so. However, if a teacher can get students to be excited at the prospect that they might encounter something that inspires them on any given day, then I would say that teacher is hitting the mark. The students’ budding enthusiasm continues to drive my own devotion to learning of which my love of teaching is merely an extension.
How do you see yourself preparing the students for school and for life? Perhaps the greatest aspect of boarding school is that it erases this barrier between school and life. One of the downsides to Western-style education is that normally the establishments of learning exist separate from all other spheres of daily life. To put it another way, by the time a student turns 18, he or she will have spent about 9% of his or her life in school, which means he or she has spent 91% elsewhere. Boarding schools shrink that percentage gap. I strive to turn as many moments as I can into learning moments at Berkshire. My hope is to begin to help students realize that their approach to their work in the classroom, on the field, in the dorm, and elsewhere around campus should be consistent. One’s level of attainment is inextricably linked to his or her steadiness of approach.
What is your favorite tradition at Berkshire? Although it can be somewhat chaotic, I love advisee lunch on Wednesdays. With the ever-present hustle and bustle of the daily schedule, it is not always possible to check in on advisees as much as one would like. While you always make an effort to drop by their room during the evening, or have a conversation outside the post-office, or organize an off-campus outing, there is always the reassurement of the weekly lunchtime gathering. The venue is not only helpful to touch base with each advisee separately, but it is also exciting to watch the group interact as a whole. Since many students tend to stay with their assigned first-year advisor, the group dynamics are always unique as students interact with others whom they might not have under different circumstances.
How would you describe the Berkshire community? The community is what drew me to Berkshire in the first place. Berkshire is a vessel where everyone seems to be rowing in the same direction. From the administration, to the faculty, to the staff, to the students, we all seem to possess a similar sense of this unique place. Our students are united by the facts that the overwhelming majority of them want to be here, take a sincere interest in the success of each other, and want to leave the place better than they found it. The adults in the community are united by the facts that the overwhelming majority of us will do whatever we can to help students succeed, foster a rigorous yet fair environment, and provide a safe place for students to grow. At Berkshire it feels like a great deal of time is spent on discussing matters of community. We do not place our focus here in lieu of academics or athletics and other co-curriculars; most schools boast a strong academic, athletic, and co-curricular program. Our emphasis on community is in recognition of the fact that an institution needs to have an exceptional one if they wish to foster the greatest degree of success in those other areas.