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Here at Lawrenceville, we all know something about Amy Glenn. Even those who have never had her in class have probably seen her walking through campus with a gentle smile on her face or perhaps read her emails about weekend trips to relaxing farms and yoga getaways. Amy, as she prefers to go by, has been teaching at Lawrenceville since 2000. She and her husband Clark have decided to move at the end of this school year. They will be relocating to Bogota, Columbia, where Amy plans to continue teaching religion, philosophy and ethics at Colegio Los Nogales, a bilingual school in the city.
Those of us with the privilege of having her in class know that there are certain things that make a class with Amy an experience unlike any other. All her students can recall taking reading quizzes with background jazz music and happily listening to her lectures as they pass around the treats she brings to class. Most teachers fall into either the “nice and easy” category or the “strict and demanding” category, but as Mr. Jordan wrote in the Olla Podrida’s dedication to her, Amy certainly has succeeded in filling both roles. Her classes are a mix of challenging ideas and her own high expectations she sets for her students. But at the same time, Amy also manages to make her classes interesting, appealing and thoroughly enjoyable. From current events to class field trips to ‘Amy Jeopardy’, Amy knows what her students enjoy and is able to incorporate pieces of her own lifestyle into her classes to create an overall satisfying and intriguing effect. In Ethics, Amy starts off the term by asking her students to vote on three topics to study that term, as she believes that students should be able to study what they want to learn about. In this way, she also inspires her students to want to fully explore what they are learning, which further enriches our time in her classroom.
There are two things that stand out particularly in Amy’s class- the discussions she facilitates in class and the fact that she refrains from participating herself to give students more opportunities to speak. Almost all Lawrenceville classes are famous for their Harkness discussions, but many regard diuscussions in Amy’s classes as particularly fulfilling because students discuss topics they elect to learn about. To facillitate these discussions Amy effectively encourages contribution from everyone by tracing the discussion and giving everyone the same grade on it. Amy also posts on Blackboard every night, in which she thanks the class for their efforts, mentions the assignment for the next day, and sometimes adds an extra video or article link for further learning. With her smile and enthusiasm, Amy acts not only as a teacher but also as a friend.
Amy has also served as an instructor for the New Jersey Scholars program, held at Lawrenceville during the summer. Last year, she taught Scholars about human rights through examination of the world’s religions. During the school year, among other thngs, Amy offers yoga classes and has organized retreats.
Amy’s heart-felt warmth, infectious enthusiasiasm, and vast knowledge are only a few of the characteristics that make her such a memorable teacher and person. She has made such an impact on the School and students and faculty alike will not be able to imagine the School without her.
Michelle Li ’13