Q. How has Atholton been different, if you have ever been to any other schools?
A. The kids at Atholton are very friendly. […] When I see them in the hallways they always seem to be smiling.
Q: What were you doing before Atholton?
A: Well, before Atholton I was at Howard, and I was actually here at Atholton two years ago, when Mrs. Dulaney was out.
Q: How was it there?
A: Howard is very crowded and I think that affects a lot of things at the school.
Q. Best and worst thing about this school?
A. Everyone is being very helpful, being new at the school, and they are ready to just sit down and chat with me and the staff. And the students are really welcoming. So those are the great things, and then the worst thing about this school is that it’s right by Subway and Dunkin doughnuts so I’m always tempted to go there.
Q. How do you interact with students to keep them engaged?
A. We do a lot of group work and I talk to the groups. I like talking to them in small groups and I’ll tell silly stories about my family and myself.
Q. So do you get positive feedback from your students?
A. I actually checked in with them today about group work because we have done a lot in terms of where they were with that, if they wanted to keep doing group work or change it up with class discussions or more lecture styled things and they like the group work. I’ll add class discussions in a group circle but they are happy doing group work.
Q. That’s good. Next question, where do you go to get coffee?
A. Oh, I go to Mr. Douglass’ coffee maker.
Q. How long have you been teaching?
A. I’ve been teaching since 1992. For a long time.
Q. Wow. Have you taught anywhere besides Atholton or Howard?
A. Yes, before this I taught at colleges and universities in the area so at Maryland where I got my PHD, and at Goucher, done a lot up there. Also at UMBC and Hopkins. But, I was a professor in Germany and Poland as well. I spent a whole year in both of those places. And in Germany was great, the kids could speak English. It was really cool to see what education was like in different countries!
Q. That’s great! Did you like traveling?
A. I do. I love traveling.
Q. How was Europe, was it a nice place to be?
A. It was, it was very nice. When I first went I was twenty-nine and it was on a budget. I had no money, but it was a lot of fun and the people were very friendly. And when I went the second time I took my family with me. People were great with traveling. I loved it. I would love to go back to Poland.
Q. I heard it’s very nice there?
A. It is, and the Poles know their language is very hard, so they’re very patient and it was fun. They’re very kind.
Q. If teaching didn’t work where do you think you would be?
A. I would love to work in a bakery. I had a job at a bakery in high school and it was very fun. I liked to be in the back because it was relaxing to watch the cake decorators. I had to wash a lot of pans.
Q. The smells are kind of relaxing in a bakery, too.
A. It is, and the baker will let you eat whatever you want. It was fun. Being a cake decorator.
Q. It’s also more active work.
A. Yeah, you’re on your feet and you’re working with people and I like to talk to them and see what they wanted.
Q. If you were a student who would be your favorite teacher?
A. At school? I don’t know enough about the school.
Q: Here are some more personal ones, What is your favorite sports team?
A. I’m from New York, but I’ve lived in Maryland for almost thirty years, so we’re very much divided, I love the Orioles, but when the Yankees are in town it’s them.
Q. Any music or Tv shows you like?
A. I like thrillers and I just finished watching season 2 of Ozark. Which is about a seemingly normal on the surface family but laundre to drug cartels.
Q.This is the final question, what inspires you to work as a teacher?
A. I like working with students. I love watching the process of learning and building relationships, learning from them. […] I really like the social aspect of it and I really do learn a lot from the people I’ve taught and the experiences they share.
Q. So you’re both learning something?
A. Yes, so it’s always interesting.