The Joy of Teaching in a Small School Community
Laurie Corrin, High School Faculty

By Laurie Corrin, High School Faculty

Teaching at a small school means getting to know my students in many different capacities. Most of my computer science students have been (or will be) in my math classes. All of the seniors in Advanced Integrated Studies this year have been in one of my other classes.

In November, I cheered for the basketball team players by name. (Full disclosure: I cheered loudest for my daughter, a Forest Ridge junior). I saw new strengths and abilities from girls as they played hard and worked with the rest of the team.

In December, I had tears in my eyes as two of my Calculus students acted the death scene in Little Women as Jo and Beth. Our students regularly impress me with their ability to step into stage roles and become people from different times with diverse histories. Sometimes I have to check my program during intermission to recognize the actor behind the role. Throughout the year, the performing and visual arts uncover new depths and talents among my engineers and mathematicians.

In February, I accompanied the junior class to the Seattle Repertory Theater to see The Children, a layered and insightful play about three retired nuclear engineers on the coast of England after a disaster. The play was a real treat, and as a middle-aged person, I’m certain I saw it through different eyes than the kids in the room. However, my students enriched the live experience with their reactions and interpretations. A lively discussion on the bus back to school was a real departure from grading math tests.

My seniors are now looking beyond Forest Ridge. Their vision is turning toward new adventures next year as they discover where they will attend college and begin to picture themselves in a new learning environment. I feel privileged to get to know them in this place as they are still becoming their future selves.

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