Six Questions with Miss Malcolm

Kristin Malcolm.JPG

1. What do you teach at ILS/what is your role at ILS?

I am observing and teaching at ILS this semester through a student apprenticeship program at my school, Hillsdale College. I have been teaching 5th and 6th grade history class, along with some 7th and 8th grade logic and 6th grade math classes.

2. What does classical education mean to you?

Currently, everything about classical education is new and exciting for me because I have only just been introduced to it within the last year. I have much more to learn, so I expect that its meaning in my life will change and grow. At the moment, though, I see it as the education which I unfortunately did not receive, but which is worth devoting my energy to seeing that others receive.

3. What is your favorite thing about ILS?

My favorite thing about ILS has been the teaching staff. They are my role models for my future, and they have, knowingly through instruction as well as unknowingly through their actions and attitudes, taught me more than I could've hoped to learn this semester.

4. Who was one teacher who inspired you?

I was greatly inspired by my high school English teacher, who was additionally my volleyball coach, role model, and friend. I still keep in contact with her today, and it has been so exciting to communicate to her my (recent) desire to become a teacher, and to also realize and communicate to her the role she played in forming that desire—even if I did not know it at the time.

5. What is your favorite book? (What book has most inspired you?)

My favorite book always seems to be whichever one I am reading at the moment. One of my very favorites, though, is Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. It is small but rich; I can point to my first reading of this book as the moment that I first began to understand what it means to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and it is for this reason that I continually return to it.

6. Please share one thing families wouldn't already know about you.

I love philosophy—particularly ancient Greek philosophy, so it has been so fun to teach the 5th and 6th grades a little about Socrates and Plato this semester. Here is a related student quotation, which was also one of my favorite moments at ILS so far. A 5th or 6th grader, turning to a friend during partner review time (and not knowing I was listening): “Okay, number five. 'What is Greek philosophy?'... Found it—Greek philosophy means ‘love of wisdom,’ and they used reason and logic to ask questions and learn about life… Man, I want to be a philosopher when I grow up! There’s nothing better than asking questions and learning about life.”

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