As we begin our new academic year, we welcome many new staff members. The Woodstocker caught up with some of them to chronicle the first chapter of their adventures.
Where are you coming from?
I just spent four years teaching Grade 6 Humanities and EAL at the American International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prior to that, my husband Sam and I were raising our three boys in a 110-year old home in Colorado.
What subject do you teach?
I’m teaching Grade 4 and 5, which means I’m a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to subjects. If I had to pick favorites, Language Arts and Social Studies would be at the top.
What’s different about Woodstock from the last place you worked at?
When we were first hired at AISD, we were given a thumb drive which included a video of staff and students, with the school song playing in the background. I cried when I first saw that video, partly because children singing always goes straight to my heart, but partly because this was our dream of living overseas being realized. I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit that over the next four years, my eyes would fill with tears every single time I heard that song (which was often). Woodstock doesn’t have a school song that I know of (but that would be a fun initiative given our highly musical community).
Why did you decide to come to Woodstock?
As much as I loved Dhaka and the diverse learning community at AISD, after 4 years the terrible air quality and limited access to the natural world was draining. My family put a priority on going somewhere where we could enjoy the outdoors again. Woodstock offers a similarly diverse learning community, but with the ability to be surrounded by mossy stone walls and fern-cloaked trees. We also feel it’s important to experience life in another place as a whole family before our oldest son Jackson leaves for university.
What are your goals for this academic year?
I want to make it a priority to incorporate outdoor learning into the units I teach. With this wonderful resource right at my fingertips, it would be a shame not to utilize it in my professional life as well as in my personal life, especially since it was the driving force for us moving here.
Are there any fun facts about you that you’d like to share?
I love the ocean, but because I grew up in hot, sunny Miami, I’m a huge wimp when it comes to cold water and I’ll only get in if it’s basically like a bathtub. I don’t foresee using Woodstock’s pool very much!
Photo by Knema Gardner
Nupur Agrawal is the Features editor of The Woodstocker
Edited by Janvi Poddar