Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman


Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

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PDS’s Second Semester: How Teachers Old and New View The New Semester

Already halfway through the second semester, PDS students are trying to complete a myriad of assignments, projects, and assessments. As we approach the final months of school, students are getting used to the faster pace, but it’s the teachers who are keeping everything on track and ensuring we’re moving steadily through the year. Honors Chemistry teacher Steven Gadd, for example, who has been a part of the Princeton Day School community for nearly 28 years, knows more or less of what to expect. He noted that as spring approaches, we all have our work cut out for us. According to him, the second semester, especially in Honors Chemistry, can be “a bit more challenging than the first”. He continued, “During the fall months, things may start off slow, but now, we start relying more on what we’ve learned earlier in the year.” Dr. Gadd added, “It can be tough for some students to keep up with the retention of material.”

In addition to being a teacher at PDS, Dr. Gadd takes on the role of creating students’ academic schedules. This year, the course selection process started a month earlier, which, in Dr. Gadd’s opinion made his job a lot easier. He says, “I can spread the work out and even do part of it during spring break, which helps me manage my workload better.” Dr. Gadd reveals how the jumpstart to course selection has helped tremendously in comparison to last year, when he was “working seven days a week for a whole month” just to get schedules ready. 

While some teachers have a sense of how this second semester might go, American History and AP US Government teacher Denise Driscoll, who joined the PDS History department this semester, is adjusting to a new school environment and helping all of her students prepare for their final projects of the year. Ms. Driscoll shared how upon her arrival, the welcoming nature of the school has eased her transition. She adds “I look forward to working with students on their interdisciplinary projects throughout the rest of the school year.” Driscoll specifically explains how she believes the tenth grade joint English history essay on Japanese Internment and the novel, When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, is “a very good experience for the students in preparing them for the long paper in the spring.” 

Teachers, whether they are new to PDS or have been a member of our community for decades, are hopeful for the new semester. Many believe that the challenges brought on with semester changes can really push students to go the extra mile in gaining a deeper understanding of the subjects they are studying. For PDS faculty,  school is all about growth and learning.

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