The Winsor School
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David Griffin

Years in teaching: 11

Year appointed at Winsor: 2014

Winsor courses/levels you teach: Class V English, Class VI U.S. Lit, Class VII: African Literature and Constructing American Masculinity, Class VIII: Contemporary British Fiction, Transgressions in Literature [next year I will not be teaching the seniors; I'll be teaching either Class V or VI, not certain which]

Other Winsor activities: Class VI Dean, Varsity Soccer Coach, Amnesty Club advisor, JV Basketball coach.

What three words would girls use to describe your teaching style?
Curiosity-Driven, Humorous (well, maybe not the style itself, but the class), Challenging

How would you describe your relationships with students?
Each is unique. I like to listen and to get to know what matters to them.

Do you have a favorite lesson or project to teach?
I love hearing the podcasts they produce about American masculinity in my Class VII elective; those have been smart, funny, and inventive. Some of them start to look at the writing process differently when they get to hear what is really an essay spoken aloud with editing to make it come to life.

What do you love about teaching?
Almost everything, but primarily the relationships. I get to watch, and sometimes even help, students as they develop their voice, their sense of identity, their priorities. I'm also a nerd, so I love that I get to talk about books and intellectual—and not-so-intellectual—ideas all the time.

What’s the best thing about teaching at Winsor?
The kids and the colleagues are what keep me going day in and day out, but in terms of my job description, the opportunity to have English conferences one-on-one with each student as part of my schedule is special.

Is there a lasting lesson you hope girls take from your classes?
I hope they take a lasting lesson or two from each class, but my goal is for that lesson to be different for each student. I took many lasting lessons from my own high school classes, but I couldn't have identified them at the time. I hope that in 15 years something that happened in class sparks an idea or shapes the way someone thinks about an important decision.

Favorite Winsor tradition?
Under The Lights, definitely.

Personal passions/hobbies: Anything active like camping and hiking; sports—both watching and playing—including soccer, basketball, baseball, and almost anything featuring a ball, really; good movies and TV; bad movies; I could go on...

Favorite quote: "Much Madness is divinest Sense/ To a discerning eye"
-Emily Dickinson

I like to find the sense in seeming madness, and I also like to be confounded. Dickinson's poems offer profound sense in what appears to be madness, and they remind me not to accept conventional wisdom without subjecting it to a discerning eye. Also, I'm not directly related to Dickinson, but she appears somewhere on the family tree, so I like to think that I've inherited a little bit of her madness.