WoFo’s Teacher Spotlight features awesome educators who are dedicated to teaching and inspiring young people everyday.
In this edition, WoFo features 9th grade history teacher, writer and joke teller Lauren Boyle Plaxa. I would like to thank Lauren for her interview and for her dedication to the teaching profession.
…if you love what you’re doing and you can’t help but talk about it at parties, you inspire me.
Besides being a teacher Lauren Boyle Plaxa is…
A politics junkie, an amateur writer, and wife to a musician.
Where do you currently teach, what do you teach and for how long?
I teach one section of World Cultures to ninth graders at Freire Charter School in Center City Philly. For the last two years, I’ve taught a social studies as needed, depending on our enrollment. I was an English teacher at another school before that. I’m a college counselor and academic adviser as well.
What is your favorite lesson to teach and why?
Any time I can, I try to infuse current events into our work, because I want students to be engaged in the present world, not just in the past. This year, my favorite lesson was on Brexit. As a warm-up, my ninth graders students planned their “exit” from the rest of our school, and in doing so, they echoed so many of the benefits and challenges that Britain is currently navigating.
If, for one day, you were in charge of your school what would you do?
With any luck, I’d take us to New York City, after begging Lin-Manuel Miranda to donate tickets for a Hamilton matinee. I’ve played clips for my kids in the past, and judging by how much they loved the short clips, I think seeing it live would be amazing for them. So, Lin-Manuel, if you’re reading, call me!
If you could write one quote on the board for your students what would it be?
This one’s on my wall in my office: “Good things come to those who hustle.”
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
I’d want to be a lawyer who focuses on education policy.
What advice would you give to all new teachers?
Ask for help. Work hard, but don’t beat yourself up. And get some sleep!
If the best thing about teaching is the students, what’s the second best thing?
My colleagues are not only some of the smartest people I know, but they’re also great friends. I laugh a lot every single day.
Who inspires you?
Anybody who is doing what they love to do and working to be the best at it. You know these people – if you talk to them about a project, their eyes light up and they nerd out in the best way. Art, athletics, science, literature, medicine, teaching – if you love what you’re doing and you can’t help but talk about it at parties, you inspire me.
My classroom superpower is…
.My corny sense of humor, because I can tell a joke poorly enough that you can’t help but laugh.
Do you know an awesome educator dedicated to inspiring and teaching others? If so, please consider nominating them to be featured on WoFo’s Teacher Spotlight Series. You can send their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org