The Aerie – April 9, 2012
By Duncan Lyon
Head of School
More qualities define a great teacher than can be put on a page. The ability to manage a class, and design and deliver differentiated curriculum come to mind, as does making each student feel understood and valued. An article in the Atlantic Monthly two years ago entitled, “What Makes a Great Teacher?” discussed a Teach for America study that identified traits of highly effective teachers. Their findings include the following passage:
Superstar teachers had four other tendencies in common: they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly…
We are fortunate that our teaching culture at Carey also prizes these characteristics. As we reviewed teachers for openings in grades five, four and three, the high quality of the applicant pool made for difficult and discerning choices among multiple candidates who embody these “superstar” tendencies.
Here are brief profiles of the new hires:
Fifth Grade: Jessica Lawson
Known to many in the Carey community for her strong work as a maternity-leave lead and associate teacher at Carey from 2009-2011, Jessica has been the lead 4th grade teacher at Kids Connection, an independent accelerated academic school in Foster City this school year. Jessica holds a multiple subject teaching credential from San Francisco State and an advanced degree from the London School of Economics.
Fourth Grade (One Year Maternity Leave): Stephanie “Westy” Litz
Westy, a product of PreK-12 independent school education, comes to us from the Mount Vernon Community School in Alexandria, Virginia. Beyond her role as a 1st Grade teacher, Westy has a reputation for supporting and extending a range of learners through Responsive Classroom techniques, outdoor education, and by integrating the philosophies of the International Baccaloreate philosophies. She holds a masters of science in elementary education from the University of Mary Washington.
Third Grade: Lauren Rhizor
Currently an associate 4th grade teacher at the San Francisco Day School, Lauren is known for her ability to develop mathematical foundations in students as well as employ reading and writing strategies in a manner that inspires students beyond what they thought possible. Also a product of independent schools, Lauren holds a multiple subject teaching credential from San Francisco State and bachelor of science from Boston University in journalism.
Again, these candidates emerged from a very capable group of teachers. Taken together, these hires promise continued strength in our core program. We will communicate about opportunities to become acquainted in person with Jessica, Westy and Lauren once those arrangements are finalized and keep you posted about the hiring of a math specialist. For now, we believe we have hired a group of teachers who will communicate well, who will contribute to student learning in a variety of ways, who will plan exhaustively and purposefully, and who will work with brio. In other words, they will join the “superstars” currently at Carey.
|The Carey School
One Carey School Lane, San Mateo. CA 94403 (650) 345-8205 FAX: (650) 345-2528 www.careyschool.org