Teacherography: School Through a Teacher’s Eyes

by Peter Lyden


Teachers and students have very similar lives. They went (or go) to school and deal with the same types of peer pressure, stress, and other tension during the day. Many teachers at RFH share their own opinions about students and teaching. In this article, you will see how teachers at RFH started out and what led them into the teaching world.

Ms. Burke, always smiling while grading

Ms. Burke is an RFH English teacher.  Her favorite part about teaching is interacting with the students that she teaches and her least favorite part is grading essays; particularly because it is a very daunting task and can take a long time to do.  The positive aspect about essay grading is discovering some of the unique writing that students offer, as well as watching them grow as writers.  In her eyes, school is a place of opportunity for meeting new people and discovering the unique qualities people and the school environment can give you.

As a high school student, Ms. Burke was classified as “social butterfly.”  She loved every social event that high school had to offer.  She was a captain on the swim team and loved going to all the all types of sporting events.  In the academic world, she only particularly focused on the subjects she was interested in, such as English, History, and Biology.  She didn’t give as much attention to the subjects that she wasn’t interested in, such as Math and Chemistry. When she was in college, Ms. Burke’s mother suggested that she go into teaching, but she really think much of it at the time. She got a PhD in English Literature. After teaching a Freshman Writing Seminar to Boston College underclass graduates, she knew right then what she wanted to do. After she graduated, she went on to teach English.

Mr. Barbiere leads students to knowledge and lacrosse players to victory

Mr. Barbiere is a teacher in the RFH Social Studies/History Department. He always enjoys interacting with his students. His favorite part about teaching is discussing historical issues and having debates with the students. His least favorite part about teaching is the often overwhelming amount of paperwork that can sometimes be involved in teaching.  He is a very curious and avid learner, which helps to make him an effective and successful teacher.   He uses both a very professional enthusiastic and sincere approach to teaching and hopes his students will do the same.

As a student, it took Mr. Barbiere quite a while until he was in college to master academic habits and skills. However, he was interested in history and used that as a way to drive his academic success.  He always wanted to become a teacher. His parents were both educators, and the profession was, in many ways,  passed down to him.

Mr. Brown may look tough, but he cares

Mr. Brown is a teacher in the RFH Science Department. He teaches several levels of physics, which includes an interesting combination of math and science used and experienced in everyday life.  He has a fun time interacting with the students. The part of school he enjoys the least is grading papers. He enjoys the work as well as being around students as they grow and develop into successful young adults.

Some of Mr. Brown’s favorite parts of teaching is watching the kids perform well on the AP exams, receiving credits for the course, and moving onto studying physics and engineering in college. Mr. Brown originally got into the teaching world by working in engineering and wanted to follow his passion by teaching physics and coaching students in sports.

Ms. Hastings always creates a bright and enthusiastic environment for her students

Ms. Hastings is a teacher in the RFH Foreign Language Department, where she teaches Spanish.  This year she taught Spanish III, Spanish II Honors, and Spanish III Honors.  She always enjoys being around the students and meeting a new group of them every year. Her least favorite part about teaching is the amount of grading she does; there’s simply too much of it sometimes.

She views school as an opportunity for students to learn new things and explore Spanish culture. She really enjoyed school when she was younger and continues to take classes as an adult. The best part about teaching is introducing new students to a foreign language and culture. Her interest in teaching began when she was a student in high school who absorbed the love, passion, and enthusiasm her Spanish teachers had and wanted to pass that on to the students she currently teaches today.

Herk and Karp--an infamous duo

Mr. Karpell is a teacher in the RFH Special Education Department. His favorite part about teaching is the interaction with his students and his least favorite part is the all the grading. In Mr. Karpell’s opinion, school is a great opportunity to continue to give students skills that will help them to learn and achieve their goals. As a student, school was important but sports was the best part of the day.  Mr. Karpell originally got into teaching through the love of coaching and wanted to pass that on into the classroom.

Mr. Herkimer is a teacher in the RFH Math Department. His favorite part about teaching is the interaction with his students and watching them mature. His least favorite part about teaching is all the grading and paperwork that goes along with the job. As a teacher, he gives advice to students about how and what to do to excel in math.  The best part of teaching is when former students come back to visit and let him know how they’ve excelled in college and learning how he influenced them in their life.

As a student in high school, he was a nerd. He enjoyed school; especially math class where got a chance to FACTOR COMPLETELY!   Mr. Herkimer got into the teaching world when he was in college and he was tutoring students in math. Some of the students he tutored told him about how he explained math material to them and that he should get into teaching.

All of the teachers who teach at RFH have one big thing in common. They all enjoy the environment of being around students and helping them to grow as individuals inside and outside the classroom. They all have different perspectives on teaching, but they always put the students first. They teach different subjects, but they all have one particular thing they love, and that’s being around the school environment.


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