Prep Gets a Baby, and a “New” English Teacher!

Cullin Egge, Editor

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Monday, February 26th, Ms. Fitch and her husband welcomed a baby boy to the world: John Scott Fitch. With Ms. Fitch now on maternity leave, that means there is a new teacher in! Ms. Boschee isn’t necessarily a new face at Prep; many of you have probably had a class with her at one point, or at least seen her bubbly personality out and about in the halls! Because she will be replacing Ms. Fitch for the rest of the school year, I thought it would be interesting to get to know our “new” teacher a little better! I asked her some questions, and she was eager to respond.

When did you teach at the Prep School? What all did you do/ lead when you were here?

When I started teaching at Prep in 2010, I taught Ancient and Modern World Literature (a passion of mine), English Language of Composition, and Creative Writing. Eventually, I also took over IB Senior English, when Mr. Menard became a full-time Assistant Principal. In addition, I was responsible for getting the PrepPost up and running again, improving the yearbook publication, and assisting with the Prep musical as producer and costumer. I also helped coach tennis, started a yoga club and ran the Writing Center. I’m tired just thinking back to that time period!

Why and when did you leave? 

I left at the end of the 2015 school year for a couple of reasons: I needed a sabbatical to recharge and our family situation allowed me the opportunity to take some time off. When the graduating class voted for me to give the commencement speech, I was thrilled to walk with them one last time and give them some “Ms. Boschee words of advice” before they left. It was an honor and a highlight of my time at Prep.

What do you do when you’re not subbing? What are your passions and hobbies?

The most exciting activity has been traveling. I have been fortunate to spend time with family in California, Colorado, New York and North Dakota. I have also traveled back to Africa, France, England, Italy, Mexico, and Canada during these two-and-a-half years.

I try to be physically active every day: tennis, yoga, gym time, dog walks, hikes, paddle boarding, and snowshoeing. Regardless of where I am, I always have a book. I still read, read, and read. But with three dogs and two cats, there is always dog snuggling and snoozing—and vacuuming during the day.

How did you feel about being asked to long term sub- especially finding out Ms. Fitch was pregnant?!

First: so excited for Mrs. Fitch and her family. Second: Super happy to get back in the classroom and TEACH, think on my feet, and help students to learn and develop. I even looked forward to grading papers again!

Do you enjoy long term or short term subbing more or less than the other and why ?

Each has its benefits. With short-term, you leave without having to take any work or worries home with you. However, you don’t always get to teach content and that can make for a long day.

With long-term subbing, you have all the preparation and grading, but you also have the joy of teaching and real interactions with students. You also get to see how they improve and become who they are. It’s certainly more stressful but also more rewarding.

Favorite class to teach currently? Your favorite piece of literature to teach about and why?

This is a challenge to answer…English Language of Composition. In this course, we get to slow down the writing process and really dig into it from a word level all the way to constructing an persuasive argument. We read and discuss shorter, but more complex texts from around the nation revolving around a theme that is connected to students’ lives: education, work, media, etc. It’s not an easy class, but I think by the time a student leaves, they are a better and more confident writer and critical reader of information.

I wish I could say just one…

Teaching Richard Wright’s novel Native Son is a gift to teach: its content is challenging to read, sometimes horrific, the writing is lush with motifs and themes. Although it was written in 1940, it’s completely relevant to 2018. Through Wright’s protagonist, and anti-hero, we learn empathy and gain understanding of the history of our country’s subtle racism. It is easy to extrapolate how our nation’s race relations and hidden biases about race have come to be. It’s a powerful read.

I also love teaching Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. I like gleaning how society uses story to make sense of their world and express their culture’s values. All nations and cultures do this, but there is something about the Ancient Greeks to which I am drawn. But mostly, I am a sucker for dramatic literature and overcoming adversity to be with the one you love. Odysseus is no saint, but he does spend 20 years trying to return to his Penelope.

What draws you to come back to Prep over and over?

People! I love the students, teachers, and administrators! This is a special place. I have worked in both public and private schools before. Nowhere else is like Prep. The adults are passionate about what they teach. They are motivated by the students, not by egos. Students are flexible and creative. Perhaps it is my wishful thinking, but I believe that this is place where you can be who you TRULY are and be accepted for it. I don’t know of another school that has that feel to it. This is not a cookie-cutter, factory-style education or space. It fosters critical thinking and individualism while still managing to create a sense of community. That is a rare find!

Plans for the future?

My ideal situation would be to teach one semester a year—preferably the fall. Then spend the other semester traveling and enjoying a more flexible life.

I would really like to develop a relationship with MPR and Youth Radio to provide teaching opportunities to Minnesota high school students to learn how to craft a story for radio, interview for the story, edit the materials and produce a completed piece for broadcasting. Ideally, this relationship would start at Prep and include Central Minnesotan high schools interested in participating. Each year, the teaching would move around to different regions of the state so that as many Minnesotan students interested could participate.

However, when I am just daydreaming, I think of opening a small bookstore which has good coffee, real baked goods, and always cats and dogs—my cats and my dogs. 🙂

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