Page 10 - Baltimore Fishbowl - 2017 School Guide
P. 10

Faust was first drawn to the idea of teaching teens when he taught an ESL course for six weeks.
“The class had a huge impact on these students coming from China as middle schoolers who’d had bad experiences and wanted to get into private high school and improve their English,” Faust says.
He agrees that his youth, empathy, and energy are strengths in a classroom full of students who are graduating from childhood to puberty and hoping to find an accessible adult they can admire. Faust will also be responsible for coaching three seasons of a middle school sport still to be determined.
The McDonogh School’s inaugural teaching/coaching intern in 2010 was Hakeem Sule, McDonogh ’05,
a 2009 University of Maryland graduate. Sule had played football in high school—and college—and received impressive athletic scholarships along the way that enabled him to attend private school despite his lower income status.
Today, Sule, 30, is a math teacher and football coach at his alma mater. He also leads the Foundations Program, an extracurricular support group for students from financial backgrounds much like his own.
“Some are kids who come in to play sports,” says Sule. “Others have the grades but there’s a social or financial adjustment. I was in the program as a student.”
At McDonogh, teacher training comes in the form of paid internships, all of which demand plenty of hours on the field as well as in the classroom.
“We’ve had maybe 15 interns since 2010,” says Matt MacMullan, the school’s athletic director. “It really just began as a way to give young teacher-coaches a chance to get into the private-school teaching world. It’s difficult for someone right out of college to find a job. It was a way to build up our coaching staff.”
The program began as a one-year contract and now spans a two-year calendar, during which time the intern teaches and coaches three seasons of a sport.
“We look for interns for the coming year based upon what our needs would be both academically and athletically,”
MacMullan says. “We might need one section of math, so we look for a math background, and we look at their sports to match them. We’re looking for someone who loves teaching and coaching.”
When Sule coaches interns in the classroom, he stresses the importance of becoming relatable, a key skill the best teachers hone over time.
“You make yourself a teacher first and a coach second, that’s the mission of the school,” Sule says. “One of the interns
I mentor now was a collegiate coach at Lehigh University. He was working on his master’s in history and teaching, but he really didn’t have classroom experience. I gave him the opportunity to do two weeks with \[the Foundations Program\] to get comfortable talking around the kids.”
On-site teaching fellowships and internships are the practical wave of the present, at least for schools that can afford it.
“A second body in the room allows a teacher to get to the strongest kids and those who need the most support,” says Joshua Wolf, middle school principal at Park School. Last year, the school implemented a program (for college credit, not pay) with sophomore education students from Stevenson University by way of an anonymous donor. They hope it will continue, but that’s to be determined based on necessary funding.
“Student-to-faculty ratio is really important, and there’s great data to back that up,” adds Wolf. “I truly believe student success is directly influenced by the number of adults in the room.”
Jackie Burr, the inaugural teaching fellow at Bryn Mawr, certainly appreciates her shared classroom time with her early mentor Meghann McMahon, whom she today considers her “best friend.” McMahon found the experience beneficial on her end as well.
“I did a writing lesson \[under McMahon’s observation\] called ‘Sparkly Sentences,’” Burr says. “If you said, ‘The cat walked in the woods,’ to make it sparkly, write: ‘The orange striped cat walked in the damp, green woods.’ I gave the students a glitter gel pen and they got to go over the new detail words. Meghann thought that was an idea she could use too.”

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