This week’s Feature-a-Teacher is Kate Houston, our English Department Chair, English teacher, and moderator of Crown, Kaleidoscope and Yearbook.
How long have you been teaching at Regina Dominican?
It is crazy, but I am now going on my thirteenth year of teaching at Regina!
What have you found most rewarding during your time teaching here?
The students are A-W-E-S-O-M-E! They are friendly and receptive to learning. Also, the faculty and staff are wonderful colleagues who love to share resources, discuss educational best practices, and are always there for support and a good, long laugh.
How does the all-girls aspect of Regina Dominican influence your teaching?
I can really see the difference in an all-girls school because the girls are free to be themselves and are empowered to voice their opinions. I feel blessed to teach in such a wonderful environment. We can spend more time reading and discussing issues related to women and their struggles and their successes.
Do you feel Regina Dominican being all-girls helps students find their voice when it comes to writing?
This is an interesting question and I feel that my journalism students certainly have found their voice in writing, especially opinion pieces ranging from feminism to politics. In my classes, in an all-girls setting, the writing of students seems more liberated and transparent as girls feel comfortable and confident in their writing. I love reading and working with seniors on their college essays because this is where you really see their voice shine through. Most of their stories revolve around a challenge or obstacle and how they were able to either overcome the struggle or how they learned something new or positive about themselves or the situation. We truly have amazing students at our school.
Do you have a favorite book that you most enjoy teaching? And why?
This is a no-brainer – The Great Gatsby, of course. In college, I went to a school in Rhode Island right by the Atlantic Ocean where they filmed portions of the movie. It just so happened, that my roommate and I would walk a short block from our dorm to look across the bay and reach towards a single green light. My students will know what I mean. Also, growing up in the New York metropolitan area gave me great insight into Gatsby’s world. Also, the language and craftsmanship of the novel is sheer perfection. Ah, I can’t wait until third quarter, so I can teach this novel.
You also are the moderator for Crown (Regina’s newspaper), Yearbook and Kaleidoscope (Regina’s literary and artistic blog). Can you tell me a little about what your goals are for each of these are for this school year?
Since Crown is a club this year, we are hoping to get students of every grade involved in the school paper. We need writers and even students interested in making a podcast. Also, we are working with the Tech and Media Club to broadcast announcements, which will be really cool. For Yearbook, we want more students to purchase a yearbook. We work really hard in covering all events and making sure every student is featured in the yearbook. The yearbook is a great way to capture memories. We also have an app called Replay It, which can be downloaded. Any student can then upload pictures of their Regina friends directly to the yearbook. Lastly, one goal we have for Kaleidoscope is to get more students to submit their creative writing. We would love for our poets and fiction writers to submit their work to be published. Kaleidoscope will now be hosted online by the school paper and we hope more readers will read us at crown.rdhs.org