Teacher Spotlight: Amy McLaughlin, 8/9
Ms. McLaughlin was born in Fairfax county, Virginia
Favorite Teacher: My favorite teacher in school was Mrs. Reynolds, my English teacher my sophomore year in high school. Her love of the subject matter made me more interested in it and excited about it. I loved the way she taught writing and the way she helped me improve my own writing.
She decided to become a teacher because she loves sharing knowledge about the things she loves and is interested in. She especially loves seeing students make progress and engage with the subject matter..
"My favorite part of being a teacher is the students. They are bright, creative, and just all-around great kids. I love seeing them grow and hearing their thoughts and ideas during our lessons."
Spotlight Moment: "Once, when I was coming into a new teaching situation, I was being introduced to the school and the materials they had that I could use as a teacher. The teacher orienting me to the school pointed to a stack of books and said, "There are classroom copies of The Scarlet Letter, but we don't teach that anymore because the kids just don't get it. I took those words as a challenge and decided to study The Scarlet Letter with my juniors that year. As we started the book, there were some confused looks and blank stares, but as we got into it, is was amazing to see how much the students "got it" and enjoyed it. They were able to apply many of the ideas and themes to their lives. At the end of the year several students told me that it was one of their favorite books. I loved seeing that transformation take place."
The number one thing she hopes students take away from her class is "an increased ability to think critically and articulate their thoughts, both verbally and in writing, on a deeper level. I also hope that they leave my class with increased confidence in their abilities."
Why does she love teaching at Arches Academy? "The people at Arches are what makes it so special -- from the students to the faculty and staff. All work together to make it such a warm, welcoming, and engaging environment where every student feels valued and encouraged to be their best self."