By Brendan McGonegal
We recently gained a new member of the Wayland Middle School community, and we decided to do a welcome interview for her. Ms. Turcot is a 6th/7th grade English teacher, and we asked her the important questions about her and her work. Welcome to the WMS community, Ms. Turcot!
Me: How long have you been teaching?
Ms. Turcot: “I’ve been working in schools for a while, probably about five years. I worked in 5th grade, I worked with 7 year olds, I worked with 10 year olds, all different ages and grades. I did my student teaching last year, for the full year, in Amherst Massachusetts, and this is my first official teaching year in the classroom on my own. I started the year in Natick, doing 6th grade English. Then, I moved here to Wayland, and I’ve been here for 2 months.”
Me: What’s your favorite part about teaching?
Ms. Turcot: “The students, of course. I think that middle schoolers are hilarious, first of all, and very smart. I love it when the whole class laughs together about something. I really just like being with all the students, hearing what you have to say, and having fun together! That’s my favorite. I also really like it when I am teaching something and the students don’t understand at first, and then they slowly start getting it, and I love when students have that ‘Ah ha!’ moment, and they’re like ‘Oh, I know how to do something now!’. That’s a great moment as a teacher, it’s really powerful.”
Me: Do you only teach middle school kids, or do you also teach adults or high-school students?
Ms. Turcot: “No, I just teach kids, but one day, what I really would love to do is move abroad, and teach adults in Europe English. I’d love to go to Spain or Italy and teach older people.”
Me: What is the most fun grade to teach?
Ms. Turcot: “That’s hard, I think it depends on what content you’re teaching. I’ve had more experience teaching 6th grade, but I’m starting to really like teaching 7th grade, so I don’t know. Follow up with me in a couple months and I’ll have an answer.”
Me: What is your opinion on playing music while kids work?
Ms. Turcot: “Music is something that I want to dabble with more. I find it hard because of the open room that we are in here; I don’t want to distract other classes. Whenever I ask for songs, nobody can think of a song to play. I want to play something, but I’m not going to force you to listen to my music! So if people suggested songs and wanted to hear them, I absolutely would play them. It needs to be appropriate, too. A lot of the songs kids suggest have swears, so I can’t play that!”
Me: What is your favorite English subject to teach?
Ms. Turcot: “I like teaching the Hero’s Journey. That’s one of my favorite things to teach. You can see it in so many fantasy adventure books kids read, and that helps because you can see the patterns in your book, or relate it to movies you may have seen. I also really like talking about books kids are reading, any conversation about independent reading makes me happy.”
Me: Do you prefer Pop-tarts warm, or cold?
Ms. Turcot: “This is a tough one to answer. I feel like there’s a right answer to this, and I don’t want to get it wrong. I haven’t had one in forever, but they’re so good! I’m gonna go for cold.”
Me: What is your favorite band?
Ms. Turcot: “My favorite band? Lake Street Dive.”
Me: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ms. Turcot: “Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough. In a cone, not a cup.”