New Teacher Profile: English Teacher Mr. Lewis

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Mr. Lewis

New English teacher Mr. Lewis enjoys working at WHS; and is looking forward to teaching when we aren’t in a pandemic.

Nashira Crispin, Contributing Writer

WHS student Nashira Crispin caught up over e-mail with new English teacher Mr. Lewis just before February break to find out more about his career and life.

1. When did you first decide that you wanted to be a teacher?
In college, one of my professors asked me if I would be willing to work in the writing center to help other students with their papers (and told me that I would get paid to do it!). I tried it out and discovered that I really enjoyed helping other people with their writing. People are often intimidated by writing, but I always find that if you can think very clearly about what you want to say, then you can also write clearly about it.

2. Hometown? And School?
I grew up in Indiana on the southeastern edge of Indianapolis. Technically, I lived in a suburb, but the suburb was surrounded by cornfields, a llama farm, and an apple orchard, and I went to a tiny rural high school that had just 400 students. Then I went to Wabash College, which is also in Indiana.

3. Why did you move?
My fiance started grad school in Boston, and I wanted to be near her, so I moved out as well! Plus, I thought it would be fun to try living in another new place after Chicago.

4. First teaching job?
I worked for a couple years in Chicago as a reading coach, but I didn’t formally get my teaching license until last year working in Worcester. So Westborough is really my first, official teaching job.

5. Why did you start teaching in Westborough?
The Westborough English teachers asked me good, thoughtful questions in my interview that made me excited to work here, and it also helps that it’s close to where I live!

6. Is this still a job you want to continue or if you could would you change it?
Yes, I absolutely want to continue it–although I am very excited to teach in a year where there is no pandemic.

7. Why did you choose to teach English?
I love English because it’s all about stories, and I think stories are how we make sense of who we are as people. I think they’re more powerful than we realize. I also think that becoming a good writer helps you become a good thinker and vice-versa.

8. How is teaching at Westborough?
I like it! Everyone is friendly and there’s a collaborative environment that I really appreciate.

9. Favorite thing about teaching?
Well, I of course love it when I see a student start to enjoy reading or writing. But as a career, my favorite thing is that the job is full of variety. There’s always something new to talk about and a new challenge to figure out. And it’s a job that is about working with people first and foremost, and I enjoy getting to know people and talking to them.

10. What have you learned by becoming an English teacher?
I’ve learned a lot in the past couple years about what sorts of things tend to come easily to students and which things are more difficult, which means that I’m constantly making adjustments to my teaching to try and improve it. I suppose one of the things I’ve learned the most is…just how much more there is to learn.

11. What’s the easiest thing about teaching?

The easiest part of teaching is talking about interesting stories and facilitating a discussion about those stories–I get to listen to interesting ideas and have some fun.

12. What’s the most difficult thing about teaching?
The most difficult thing about teaching is grading. It’s far more time-consuming than I imagined before I started, and it’s sometimes hard to find time for it between lesson-planning and meetings.

13. If you can teach any other subject, what would it be and why?
If I couldn’t teach English, I would want to teach History or Music, which are the other two subjects which fascinate me the most. History is interesting because it’s a series of stories about our past, and historians are always revising/changing/challenging those stories as they get new information. But those stories shape who we think we are today. And I love Music–I’ve always wanted to be a better musician than I actually am. One of my favorite teachers was a music theory teacher, and he helped me think of music as a language, which permanently changed my relationship to music in amazing ways.