Teaching at Deerfield means being part of a community of passionate and skilled educators. We’re looking for teachers who love and excel at their subjects, who care deeply about students, who are engaged in questions of pedagogy, and who demonstrate the highest professional standards. These four categories make up the heart of Deerfield’s Framework for Teaching, and they help define our decision-making in the hiring process.
At the end of each year, students prepare farewell addresses to those faculty members who are retiring or moving on to another stage in their professional lives. Here are some excerpts from their writing:
“French with Madame Moorhead is like nothing else—we may be speaking a truly foreign language, but we must still discuss with the same rigor and complexity as in English class. Madame wants us to think. Madame expects from us the scholarship of which she knows we are capable and supports us as we attempt—keyword attempt—expression in French. Madame values our ideas and thoughts—she believes in us.
“But, don’t get me wrong. As much as Madame encourages and pushes us in French, we could not go one day without bursts of giggles and laughter. Madame, you are truly hilarious. Your smile and laughter light up the room even as we discuss the metaphysical moral dilemmas of Meursault.”
“She’s the type of teacher who doesn’t care about your grade, but about your understanding of the material. When you ask a question in class, often she responds with a “Hmm. Interesting. What do you think?” Although I sometimes find this frustrating, it forces me to go back and work harder. Extra-help sessions are always eventful, filled with singing and calming guitar or ukulele music, chatting about life, and the occasional math problem. She’s known around Barton for being pretty strict, that might be because of the time she spent training to be a Marine. Those of you who haven’t had her as a teacher, coach, table head, or hall resident may have seen her out on one of her daily runs or coming back from practice on her bike. She’s developed a strong presence on campus in her three years here, and is someone I can always count on for a laugh or a reassuring smile.”
“Ms. Lyman, you understand that the most important thing for any student, struggling or striving, is to find something we’re good at—something we’re proud of, and success will follow… You once told me, “I wouldn’t do this job if I didn’t come to care about the kids I look after. It wouldn’t be fun.” Well, you made the most stressful process we’ve faced yet, fun for all of us too. So thank you. We wish you the best in all the places you’ll go. And we know, that our friendships don’t end here, no matter how far away the places you’ve led us may be.”
“[Mr. Jacobs] integrates life lessons subtly into any lecture, shows a genuine desire to become acquainted with all students, whatever their aptitude for Ethics or Political Philosophy, and makes each day less of a class and more of a memory. He has made my last days of glory here at DA so hard to give up. I can only hope to find the same caliber of professors in the years to come, for in just two terms Mr. Jacobs has set the bar higher than I knew it could go. I continue to be amazed at his concern for the welfare of the Deerfield community, and at the lengths to which he will go to preserve our values. He takes the idea of living an examined life to the next level.”
“‘What is your education? What does it mean to you?’ Ms. Hannay posed this question on Tuesday, and I like to think I have my answer. It is not a grade, not an SAT score, not the college you go to. There comes a time when it doesn’t matter that Otto from our grammar book got a 2400, and you didn’t. What matters is who you are, what you take with you. Ms. Hannay embodies everything about this: a real appreciation of learning.”
“You’ve been a huge part of my Deerfield career – I honestly don’t know where I would be without you. I’ll never forget those evenings when I would text you an essay of all my problems and without fail, your three-letter response was always “Lol”. Then about five minutes later, followed by: “let’s do a coffee run”. You would take me to Dunkin Donuts to get a giant iced coffee, which I would finish in about 10 minutes. You were always there for me and so many other students here.”
“Profe Piña is one of those teachers that demand participation from students, and his energy during class provides the exact environment where students can speak up, without restraint. He established a place where I was not always self-conscious if my answer was right or good enough. He just wanted us to speak and try.
“Profe Piña made learning grammar fun and the other lessons in his class were equally or even more interesting. We read articles, plays and stories and our discussions about the readings did not simply skim over the main concepts of these stories, but he put us out of our comfort zones to think critically in another language. What could we learn about the world and human nature from these stories? What could we learn about ourselves?”
Deerfield is committed to supporting a skilled and dedicated faculty. Opportunities for engagement in the school community are many. Professional Development support is available year round. And our campus program holds numerous opportunities for making a difference in the lives of our students.