Graduate Accepts Teaching Position at Great Hearts Academies
Q&A With Catherine Allen
Like other top schools, King’s offers a rigorous Christian education with a focus on critical thinking and persuasiveness. But education at King’s is different. What happens in the classroom quickly bleeds out into the many opportunities around the country. Catherine Allen, a graduating senior in the House of Queen Elizabeth the 1st, recently landed a job in Arizona as a teacher apprentice at Great Hearts Academies. In the Q&A below, she describes her journey and how her education at King’s contributed to her landing a job.
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?
A. Stirling, New Jersey. I am the fourth of nine children. I went to a small private school called Koinonia Academy in Plainfield, NJ, K-12. Growing up, I played field hockey in high school, and I danced ballet. I also played clarinet in the school band and was in the high school choir. I've lived in NJ my whole life (aside from NYC for college), so moving all the way to Arizona will be a big change for me. I am also extremely close to my family so saying goodbye to them will be hard.
Q. What brought you to King’s?
A. Well, an email offering me a scholarship grabbed my attention, but I wasn't really planning on attending King's until I went to Inviso and was so impressed with the students I met and with the faculty and staff I spoke to that I decided I had to be at King's.
Q. Tell us a little bit about how you got the teaching job in Arizona. When did you get the job offer, and what will your responsibilities be?
A. I first became interested in Great Hearts Academies last year when Dr. Jackson described them in his Education courses. Through his encouragement, and his efforts to start and foster a relationship between King's and Great Hearts, I got in touch with the headmaster of one of the academies and with their recruiters. One step lead to another and after I applied I was invited out to interview and do a teaching demo with them. I got a job offer that night.
I will be a teacher apprentice at Archway Glendale which is their K-5 elementary school in Glendale. I am not sure which grade I will get yet, but my responsibilities will include helping the lead teacher with his or her lessons, as well as teaching one subject on my own. I will also help in writing up lesson plans, keeping the students busy, grading homework and tests, etc.
I will also be helping with extra-curricular activities for the elementary and possibly middle and high school, which may include drama, speech and debate, and/or dance.
Q. Do you have any plans for the long term future?
A. If I discover I do in fact love teaching, then I hope to continue in a career of it. But I'm taking it one year at a time. I think this job will be a great opportunity for me to grow and learn as a teacher from other amazing teachers in a great community. And whether I stay at Great Hearts or go on to a different teaching job somewhere else, I know I can take what I learn there with me.
Q. What components of the King’s education were most important to you getting this opportunity?
A. Well, Great Hearts is a classical school, focused on educating and forming the whole person. I will say that my education courses (History and Philosophy of Ed I &II, Education Policy, etc.) have contributed to my understanding of the importance of classical education and thus have contributed a lot to my desire to be a teacher at Great Hearts. But honestly, it's really hard to pinpoint which component was most important. I think being formed by all the classes I had here at King's allowed me to see the natural progression of applying what I've learned to teaching others in a similarly minded school such as Great Hearts.
If we're talking about classical education "educating the whole person," I think that's what I can contribute to King's. It was bent on educating me as a whole person--"how I think" not just what I think, and helping me form, in part, an idea of what it means to live "the best life."
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.
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