Aspire to Inspire: Why Hop Teachers Chose Teaching
At a certain point in life, something influences or impacts every single person to pursue a particular career. What was that experience for you? Was it your upbringing? A person, place or moment? Hopkins’ teachers share what sparked their desire to teach.
“After graduation, I worked at a summer theater program in Pennsylvania run by the Chair of the Drama Department at the Chapin School in NYC. After leaving Shoestring to pursue educational writing...I got a call from the Chapin School looking for a last minute replacement drama teacher a month before school started! Seeing that writing wasn’t going anywhere fast, I jumped at the chance. That was my first independent school hire. I absolutely loved it...My mentor teacher liked what I was doing and said my classes were so pedagogically sound (I had no idea what ‘pedagogy’ was at the time, but it worked!). While at Chapin, I got my Masters of Arts in Educational Theater and have been teaching... ever since.” - Mike Calderone, Drama teacher
“I decided to become a teacher due to the wonderful teachers that taught me throughout my life....My teachers were incredibly talented, fascinating, pedagogical experts, and truly inspirational...I will always remember my third-year honors Spanish teacher, Professor Ware, who inspired many of us to volunteer with the Amigos de Las Americas program, and who I believe is running an orphanage now in Central America, leaping through the classroom teaching us the lesson on the nuances of direct and indirect object pronouns when both are included in a sentence before a conjugated verb.... Becoming a teacher is a great way to give back and express my gratitude to all the teachers that taught me.” - Josh Brenner, Spanish teacher
“I had a Latin teacher in high school, Mrs. Schall. She was awesome. My senior year, she offered a course in Roman Civilization. With only six students, she decided to turn it into a class where the students did most of the teaching. We did research and prepared lessons for each other. Gaius Marius will always hold a special place in my heart for my first class I taught! I enjoyed the learning it took to make the lesson, and...the challenge of trying to figure out how to make it interesting for my peers.” - Thom Peters, History teacher
“It was a very specific moment. Back in 1979, I was in History 8, and we were having a great conversation. I looked around at what was going on and thought I want to do this always.”- Brad Czepiel, English teacher
“I became a teacher because I always loved school. My mom was a teacher and at home we never had a dull moment: my brothers and I performed science experiments, learned how to play instruments, made arts and crafts, and we read a lot. I think that because my mom treated every day like a new opportunity to learn (and to have fun doing it), she primed me to love school before I ever even stepped foot into a classroom. And once I was school-age, I loved everything about it.” - Anna Robinette, English teacher
“What attracted me to teaching is the strong community feeling created at a school by the students, the teachers and other adults who all have a common purpose and are all engaged in learning about the world and how they interact with it and each other. And, although school is full of routines, I also love that every day is a little different...on most days, I get to deal with new challenges that teach me something new. And...being around kids all day long and seeing them light up when they ‘get it’ is lots of fun!” - Jocelyn Garrity, Head of the Junior School and Math teacher