Des Daniels '13 Back on Campus
Des Daniels '13 was back on campus last week to shadow Faculty and Staff, jumping into classroom activities and learning from administrators. We asked Des to reflect on his time with us and what he learned from the experience.
Tell Me About Your Project.
I’m wrapping up my time at Abington Friends School and have the last 3 weeks off to learn in the field. I really wanted to shadow administrators, as I have already shadowed teachers all through high school and wanted a different perspective. This week I’m at Greene Street Friends, and then I head back to Abington Friends School next week to shadow their Lower School Director. I spend my last week shadowing Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education in Harrisburg.
Why Did You Decide to come Back to Greene Street Friends?
I wanted to get a different experience and went here for Middle School. I was especially interested in seeing how the school has changed in the last 4 years. I love the environment and people at Greene Street Friends.
What Have You Done This Week?
I’ve been spending lots of time with Head of Lower and Middle School Ryan Kimmet. He’s given me great advice about advising teachers and effective school leadership. I met with Head of School Ed Marshall and he gave me wonderful advice, along with a list of questions to ask Faculty and Staff. I really enjoyed interviewing members of the Faculty and Staff about their roles here at GSFS, daily tasks, and child development. I’ve gotten to know some of the students and popped into classrooms for 20-30 minutes at time. These visits have all been different, including: reading Honey, Honey, Lion to Kindergartners, practicing multiplication with 3rd Grade, and sitting in on a 2nd Grade reading assessment and talking to [classroom teacher] Peale about it afterward.
Why Are You Interested in Education?
Coming from a family of educators, I didn’t think I ever would be interested in education! After briefly flirting with a career in architecture, I decided it wasn’t for me and reconsidered education. I love being able to see growth in students and building relationships with them. I’m currently deciding whether I want to work for public or private schools and want to see how Quaker schools specifically support students. Whether I end up in the public or private school world, I want to support students who don’t have the same resources and opportunities as others. This Fall I’ll begin Arcadia University’s +5 Program for Reading Specialists. I’ve always been interested in getting kids to love math and reading, especially in elementary school.
Who Was Your Favorite Teacher at Greene Street Friends and Why?
Sandra Rodriguez was one of my favorite teachers here at
Greene Street Friends. I had absolutely no Spanish background and I spent the
summer before 7th grade studying Spanish with her. All of my
classmates started learning Spanish in Pre-Kindergarten, but she had the same
expectations for me and encouraged me as I learned the language. She’s so
awesome and lively and totally believed in me. Her confidence in me was really
important and helped me succeed.
What Did You Learn From This Week?
You need good teamwork and collaboration to make a school
run effectively. In all roles, you need good people skills and should keep
Do You Have Any Advice For Current Students?
Take the opportunities that Greene Street Friends provides and enjoy your time here. The diversity of GSFS helped me understand other peoples’ cultures and identities. By talking about diversity and being a student here, I was better prepared for high school and to confront stereotypes. GSFS set me up for success in high school by giving me confidence to take risks, knowing everyone believed in me.