For David Charlesworth, what could have become a career misstep ended up leading him to his true passion.
The Stonehill College graduate began school as a biology major in hopes of becoming a veterinarian. He described it ironic that during a summer science program, he realized “science wasn’t [his] forte.” He then switched his major to English.
After college, Charlesworth continued studying English at Boston College and taught a class there. It was then that he discovered he wanted to be in a classroom environment. “I realized that it’s super fun to blow kids’ minds every day, ideally,” Charlesworth said.
Before coming to the high school, where he teaches Freshman and Junior ACP English, Charlesworth spent two years teaching the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, which is of similar rigor and standards as Advanced Placement (AP) classes, at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. “It was a tough school environment in that there were a lot of rules and regulations,” he said. “Here there is a great trust of the students that I really appreciate.”
Charlesworth is looking forward to integrating technology like the Smart Board into his lessons. “Technology at my old school was a white board and an expo marker,” he joked.
In addition, he is excited to teach one of his favorite authors, Toni Morrison as part of the Junior curriculum because he has never gotten the opportunity to do so. “It’s by no means an easy read, but nothing ever worthwhile is easy,” he said.
With a clear commitment to his students, Charlesworth explained that over the year he hopes to create strong relationships with the kids. “You guys are why we’re here,” he said, “and I really want to keep that in the front of my mind.”
Current student Lynnie Young ’17 noticed Charlesworth’s excitement for a new teaching environment with new students. “He told us he’s excited to come to WHS to express his own style of teaching and have a new teaching freedom. In the beginning of the school year we did a lot of icebreakers that got us not only to know the rest of the class but also made us closer with him,” she said. “We could really tell he has a passion for teaching English but also for connecting with the students,” she said.
As part of the strong relationship with his students that Charlesworth described envisioning, he hopes they will be able to learn about him as a person naturally, without a formal get-to-know-you. He did add, however, that he hopes people understand his love for music. A guitar player since high school, Charlesworth said “Music is a big part of my life. It’s really why I got involved in English; it gave me an early appreciation for lyrics and language.”
(Olivia Gieger ’17, Associate Editor)