Nate Crimmins

Nate Crimmins

Upper School Social Studies Teacher, Advisor / Grade Dean - 10th Grade
M.A., Theology and Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
B.A., Philosophy, Centre College
Upper School

Nate Crimmins is the Upper School Social Studies Teacher and has been at Carolina Day since 2018. He has been teaching since 2010. His education and teaching experience are deeply rooted in the humanities, working in Social Studies, Religious Studies, and English departments throughout his career. Nate's professional development opportunities have brought him to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria. However, he most appreciates his experience at the Exeter Humanities Institute here in the United States where he was formally trained in the Harkness Method. At CDS, Nate has taught U.S. History; Modern World History; The World's Religions; Model UN; Global Studies; Honors Applied Ethics; Honors Religion & Science; as well as Civics, Citizenship, & Civil Rights. Nate was awarded the Dr. W. Leon Elliston Upper School Faculty Professional Development Award in May 2020. He and his wife Ellen live in Arden and entered into parenthood in early 2019.

Get to know Nate Crimmins:

What interesting background, training, etc. do you bring to your position? "Prior to teaching at CDS, I was a teacher, dorm parent, and coach at a co-ed boarding school in Delaware. My time there helped instill the importance of being a caregiver, mentor, and educator in my work with students. Before beginning my teaching career, I served as program coordinator of an immigration detention center visitation program with the mission to befriend and support detained asylum seekers in a private detention center outside New York City. In that capacity, I trained volunteers, ran advocacy, awareness, and fundraising campaigns, as well as developed a post-release relief and accompaniment program for released asylees. As part of this work, I embarked on a solo cross-country bike tour, riding from New York City to San Francisco, raising awareness for detained asylum seekers and U.S. immigration detention practices."

How would you describe your classroom? "In many of my classrooms, I place great importance on project based learning (PBL) and assess student work through standards based grading (SBG). Convinced of the merits of both PBL and SBG, I find students are able to focus on their own growth and development as learners with sharp focus on executing specific skills in a variety of mediums, be it a role-play, podcast production, infographic, research paper, or documentary, among others."

What books and authors inspire you, your curriculum, and your classroom? Why? "My teaching style is indebted to feminist scholars Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule’s midwife model of teaching. In their text Women’s Ways of Knowing, they juxtapose the more familiar approach to teaching—what they term the banker-teacher model—with a new approach, the midwife-teacher model. They write, 'Midwife-teachers focus not on their own knowledge (as the lecturer does) but on the students’ knowledge… Midwife-teachers help students deliver their words to the world, and they use their own knowledge to put the students into conversation with other voices—past and present—in the culture.' In this way, I have been encouraged to help students birth and care for their own nascent ideas, thereby inviting them to do the thinking rather than be told what or how to think."