Moseying past High School 

Washington-Liberty teacher Daniel Moses reflects on his experiences with seniors this school year

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Washington-Liberty teacher Daniel Moses reflects on his experiences with seniors this school year

Most of high school is spent awkwardly avoiding eye contact with teachers and evading work in the corner of a classroom. However, for the better part of the 2021 and 2022 school years, all a student needed to do was turn their camera off. Without those key character-building experiences, among others, many have felt shorted and almost unprepared emotionally and academically for post-graduate life.

International Baccalaureate (IB) social anthropology teacher Mr. Daniel Moses prides himself greatly on his ability to connect and communicate with his classes, something that he struggled with during the pandemic. Although this time can be reflected on as a blip in the history books and a cautionary tale for future generations, for those who were forced to live through it, the harsh reality was physical and mental isolation. 

“That was a tough year. My course, more than anything, is about talking, interacting and hanging out with people,” Mr. Moses said. “Because it’s an IB it has very motivated students, I had that working for me, but in general it was a struggle… It was harder.”

Mr. Moses also credited some of his success over his career and subsequent COVID-19 encounter to making an active effort in investing his time and energy into others’ well-being.

“Good teaching is good teaching. So really, the best strategy I always did was just [to] always have kids in front of you, make sure every single kid is involved in every lesson, and cold-calling kids,” Mr. Moses said. “Even when the cameras are off and they don’t want to be a part of [the conversation] my strategy was a combination of keeping it upbeat and fun.”

He also applauded the graduating class’ initiative in improving their own paths and communities. Many seniors saw the pandemic as an opportunity to give back and take responsibility for their surroundings after watching societal relationships falter under the strain of the global crisis.

“I mean, the kids who are in my [higher level] classes this year, like we’re really tight, like really close. You get close after two years, particularly in anthropology, telling stories, having your life and sharing [it],” Mr. Moses said. “I’ve learned a lot from those kids. Particularly this year, I had really great kids in terms of social activism and feminist activism.”

In his final reflection of the year, what he will recall most is not one single event, but the engagement and ethic of his classroom. 

“What I will remember more than anything are seminars. Student-led seminars in class where I totally turn everything over to them and let them talk,” Mr. Moses said. “I think seminars give the best tie into what the kids are and it’s what I take the most away from.”

 

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