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Middle School 

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Andy Wallace

Faculty Information
Location(s) Middle School
Title(s) Middle School Assistant Principal, Middle School Humanities
Contact Information
School Email
  (Primary)
Education
Degree(s) B.A., State University of New York at Geneseo
M.A., Tufts University
Other Information
2015 
 

Andy Wallace is the Middle School Assistant Principal. He has a B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.A. in Education degree from Tufts University.  Andy has over eleven years of experience teaching, working with students in outdoor education, independent schools, and most recently as a high school social studies teacher at an Expeditionary Learning charter school in Western Massachusetts. He is also currently pursuing a certificate in Restorative Justice, and enthusiastic about the potential applications of RJ in school settings. Outside of teaching, Andy enjoys gardening, cooking, and outdoor pursuits with his wife Niki and their two children, Sara (6) and Owen (3).
 
Get to know Andy Wallace:
 
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? “One reason that I wanted to join the CDS community was my sense that that the faculty and staff are committed to the students’ middle school experience being one that matters; teachers want students to engage with hard questions, challenge themselves to be better community members and citizens, and to develop strong, creative, and independent voices.” 
 
How would you describe your classroom? “I think my classroom has a buzz to it-a buzz fueled by students that are collaborating and creating, sometimes loudly, with a focus on project work. My class thrives on well-timed humor, tolerance and respect for varying opinions, and our high expectations of each other’s work and the way we carry ourselves.”
 
What books and authors inspire you, your curriculum, and your classroom? “I’ve been inspired, both personally and professionally, by the courage of teachers and authors like Howard Zinn and Myles Horton.  Horton’s autobiography, The Long Haul certainly shaped my desire to make students’ educational experience one where they had authentic opportunities to discover and nurture their ability to shape the world in positive ways. David Blight, Eric Foner, and Jill Lepore are fantastic historians and authors whose approach to telling stories of the past is highly engaging and inspires me to continue making the study of history relevant to student’s lives.”
 
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” John Dewey
 
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Attentive and empathetic. Demonstrative, yet, reserved. Open to possibility.”  
 
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “In previous schools and classrooms, I was known for providing individual students with opportunities to create projects and express their learning through visual and performing arts. Also, documentary projects, such as multimedia stories on local farms, were hallmark pieces of my classroom.”
 
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “Balance is a work in progress, but digging in the dirt, planting flowers and shrubs, and tinkering and reworking small-scale landscaping projects is something I love to do.”
 
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? “I’m very interested in how schools institute community practices that cultivate character and that challenge students to take greater ownership of a school’s well being.  I’ve been pursuing a Certificate in Restorative Justice, and my main interest is in the potential applications in a school setting.”  
 
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “I imagine a big difference resides in how CDS students are expected to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways, and are then expected to reflect upon their learning process and actually articulate the specific things they do well and the things on which they continue seek improvement.  My own experience as a child in school was marked most often by standardized curriculum without a great deal of creativity, and never any expectation that I would present to my peers, family, or teachers on my learning process.”  

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