Editor’s note: The following is one of three profiles of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Teachers of the Year. Read them all here.
Kevin Ford has a simple philosophy for teaching literature at Calvert Hall: have fun.
It was this type of strategy that endeared him to students and made him one of the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Teacher of the Year.
“There’s so much to love about teaching,” said Ford, a St. Louis parishioner in Clarksville, “but I feel especially lucky to be teaching literature. I love developing learning opportunities unique for students, welcome their original ideas and connections, and build a greater
empathy for the struggles of others.
Ford said part of his teaching philosophy is to recognize that if the teacher isn’t having fun, the students aren’t having fun.
“I’m always excited to experiment with new educational projects and experiences,” Ford said.
After graduating from Calvert Hall College High School in 2007, Ford earned a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in English language and literature from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. .
At the University of Maryland, Ford held various teaching support positions in the English department and honors college, but began his professional career in the Teach for America program, serving at a college in East Baltimore after training at a high school in Philadelphia. .
Ford now teaches Specialized English I, English III and Specialized World Literature at Calvert Hall and is also Chair of the English Department, Peer Education Moderator and Moderator of the Irish Culture Club.
“Kevin is an amazing teacher who is able to connect with students and get the most out of their efforts,” said Christian Brother John Kane, president of Calvert Hall. “They know he cares about them and is passionate about the teaching profession. He fully deserves this award. »
Ford is always enthusiastic about experimenting with new projects and educational experiences.
Some of his favorites include:
- “Calvert Hell: A senior project related to the study of Dante’s “hell”, in which students design their own first-person journey through an underworld dedicated to punishing the sins of the Calvert Hall community.
- Oedipal Debate: Small teams of freshmen identify a character from Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex” to defend as less culpable than all the other characters for the terrible crimes committed. Using textual references, they debate issues such as ignorance as a defense, the impact of criminal motive/intent, the importance of mitigating factors, and the human condition versus omnipotent deities.
- Holden’s Mixtape and Contemporary Caulfield: Freshmen choose one of these two culminating projects at the end of the school’s “The Catcher in the Rye” unit. Their creative expression is complemented by a critical analysis of the original and updated scenes.
“This moment, being honored as Independent Catholic High School Teacher of the Year, is a career highlight,” Ford said. “It’s a thrill. But the most satisfying moments are linked to the success and growth of my students. It means the world to me when a former student emails an article he published in his college journal.
“I am thrilled when a student eagerly tells me on a Monday that he linked a new movie he saw over the weekend with the literature we read. And it’s especially humbling to meet the wider community, whether at traditional events or even back-to-school, and hear that loved ones of students recognize the impact the classroom has on their growth.
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