New Teachers Bring Experience To Archmere’s Classrooms

Jill Farrell, Staff Writer

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Seven new teachers representing six departments joined Archmere’s faculty for the 2019-2020 school year. The new teachers come from schools as close as Ursuline and as far as Regis High School in New York, each bringing different skills and experiences to their positions.  

Due to the increased size of the freshman class, seven new teachers were hired to meet the academic needs of the students. Mr. Jordan and the department chairs worked diligently throughout the summer to find the best teachers for Archmere’s community. 

“I always ask two questions in my interviews,” said Jordan. “Do you like kids? and Will you work hard? I try to get a read on if they will buy into the culture at Archmere, which is pretty informal, but has very high expectations in terms of how students perform”

Overall, Mr. Jordan is very impressed with the teachers he has hired for this school year. He knows that they are smart and capable of achieving anything that comes their way.

“They seem to jump right in,” said Jordan. “They get a pretty quick sense that it’s a welcoming place and I am impressed with their ability to adapt.” 

The teachers are acclimating to their new home and environment. French teacher Madame Cooper works with the new teachers in a two-year program helping them to become prepared for situations they will encounter at Archmere. The primary goal of the two-year program is to explore shared experiences and the sense of community that Archmere offers. During the first year of the program, the coordinators introduce the new teachers to aspects of Archmere community and life. The goal is to ensure that new teachers are prepared for situations that may occur.

 “For example, two weeks ago we covered the lockdown drill and procedure,” said Mrs. Cooper. “You can imagine what that announcement can do to unprepared teachers!” 

It is equally important that newer teachers develop their confidence in the classroom.  The opportunities to get together and share best practices has been shown to provide the new teachers with a support system that sets them up forsuccess. 

“During the teacher’s second year of the program, we cut back on the meetings and gear them more towards methodology,” said Cooper. “Now that the teachers have a plan in place, the key is to find ways to help them branch out in their classrooms and to expand what they are currently doing with the students.”

The program emphasizes the creation of a positive learning environment to maximize the ability of teachers to reach their full potential.

 “I think the most effective tool for creating a positive learning environment is shared experience. If you do not provide opportunities for discussion of challenges, to raise questions, techniques, or routine protocol, then you are perhaps hiring the best quality teachers, but you are not providing the framework to motivate them or challenge them professionally and personally.” 

The new teachers come from local schools as well as ones out-of-state. Mr. Quinn, a new teacher in the English department, previously taught at Regis High School in Manhattan where he would get to work by walking through Central Park. Before becoming a teacher, he attended Harvard University and studied law, but soon realized he would rather be in the classroom. Recently, he moved from New York to Pennsylvania, and began teaching at Archmere. Previously, he taught at an all-boys school. The value in teaching in a co-ed school was apparent to Mr. Quinn.

“It is honestly great to get young women’s perspectives,” said Quinn. “I increasingly felt that we were missing something in not having women in the classroom with whom we could have conversations with and trade points of view.” 

Although Mr. Quinn feels that teaching at an all-boys school can be different than a co-ed school, he also sees similarities. These similarities are related to the way that all young people think and analyze information. 

“Young people are still figuring things out and learning about the world,” said Quinn.