Six Questions with Mrs. Hull
1. What do you teach at ILS/what is your role at ILS?
I serve as the Lead Teacher for our Upper School, grades 4-8. I also teach logic, literature, writing, and art for the 5th-8th graders.
2. What does classical education mean to you?
So, so much! Simply, classical education is teaching students to love the good, true, and beautiful in age-appropriate and inspiring ways. Specifically for our oldest students, it's about helping them to discern truth with good reasoning and to become staunch defenders and pursuers of it. Our scholars must learn to be organized in mind, speak with clarity, and amass a healthy body of knowledge along with the skills to continue learning. We study the trivium and the quadrivium. What's so beautiful about this approach, especially at ILS, is that this is both a cognitive training and a training of the heart and soul. A truly classical education doesn't just stop at "critical thinking skills" although we constantly are strengthening those abilities, but also trains the affections of students and helps orient hearts toward God. Why? Because as we are constantly focusing on truth, goodness, and beauty, we are constantly turning to the Author of these glorious things. To me, it might be the ultimate human quest.
3. What is your favorite thing about ILS?
Definitely the community! I love working and worshipping with my fellow teachers, and I love the process of getting to know my students over the course of their education here. One of my favorite parts of teaching is spending time in conversation with our students, circled around some idea or concept. I also take a lot of delight in all the hilarious moments that happen when you spend 8 hours a day with children and teenagers.
4. Who was one teacher who inspired you?
Oh gosh... I could talk about a number of teachers and mentors who have inspired me, but my parents have been certainly my first and BEST teachers. Through homeschooling, they gave me a classical education as a child and it blew my mind away. Have you ever had teachers you really want to please, not because they might critique you or embarrass you, but because you found them so admirable? Those are my parents, who inspired me by their wisdom and own habits of learning: constant reading and discussion. They were gracious when I failed but never let me stay stuck in failing, they cheered me on,they held me accountable to be excellent and to take ownership of my studies. They inspired me in many ways, and without their influence my mind would probably still be a disorganized mess.
5. What is your favorite book? (What book has most inspired you?)
This is a great question for a literature teacher :) Clearly, the Bible as an answer would be cheating, so I'll move on. I'm not sure that I can ever adequately answer this! I'll categorize a few favorites from childhood and my adult years.
One of my favorite stories is the Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser, particularly book 1: "Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves." This is the story of St. George the "Redcrosse" knight and his faithful love Una, who is a beautiful damsel in distress but also a strong, capable, and dignified woman. The story is an allegory of his quest in the faith. Dante's Divine Trilogy must be read in whole, but truthfully I cannot forget some of the images from the Inferno. Some of my favorite "teacherly" books are The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis and Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith.
I read the Chronicles of Narnia over and over, and love them still. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare inspired me, and books about faithful dogs made be cry openly - embarrassingly they still do - like Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I also loved Scott O'Dell's books, and Lousia May Alcott.
6. Please share one thing families wouldn't already know about you.
Hmmm.. I was very involved in theater and did Shakespeare plays throughout college. Twelfth Night was my favorite, but I enjoyed working as a cast member in each one. MORE IMPORTANTLY, even though everyone will know this soon as I will no doubt be talking about it constantly, my husband and I are about to adopt our first dog "Penny" (short for Penelope), which is the realization of a life-long dream! Once Penny has been trained, we'll welcome our second pup "Odi" (short for Odysseus) this summer
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