Marple Newtown Patch is featuring great teachers in the Marple Newtown area who deserve some spotlight. Teachers give a lot to their students, schools and studies and we'd like to recognize them and say a simple, thank you, for all that they do. This educator has been in the industry for 12 years, spreading his passion for all things history.
Name: Will Gibbs
School: Episcopal Academy
Grade/Subject: 7th Grade Civics and 8th Grade World History
Years in the Industry: 12
Teaching Background: I started teaching World Geography to 6th graders at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach, VA, during the fall of 2001 (a week before 9/11). In 2005, I moved to Philadelphia to start teaching at Episcopal.
What do you like most about your job?
I love being surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm of middle school students; I think that it keeps me feeling young and I know that it keeps me on my toes. I am honored to work with a middle school faculty that embodies much of the same energy and enthusiasm. I look back very fondly on my own experience as a middle school student and I cherish (most of) those memories.
Knowing that these years are going to be embedded in the memory banks of my students, I love finding ways to help facilitate the creation of positive academic, athletic, and social experiences. To that point, one of the benefits of the K-12 school is getting to watch and re-connect with former students as they make their way to and through the upper school. Everyday I have at least one former student swing through my classroom to simply say, “Hi," ask me about my family, and share a memory or an anecdote. That is always one of the favorite parts of my day!
Why did you become a teacher?
I spent a year between college and the “real world” finding myself. I like to call it a “gap year” because it makes it sound like a really formative experience, but I really just worked retail and lived in my parents’ basement. However, it was over the course of this year that I got involved in coaching high school lacrosse. As a result, I spent a considerable amount of time working alongside many influential teacher-coaches. In a way, it was like looking into a crystal ball; I was working closely with three guys who were five, 10, and 15 years older than me. This gave me a pretty good idea of what life is like for a teacher. Next thing I knew I was in Virginia Beach in front of a classroom full of kids and I knew from that moment that it was a perfect fit for me.
What do you like best about your current school (projects, programs or activities that your school is a part of):
I feel very fortunate to be a part of the school community at Episcopal. I am granted the freedom to teach in the style that I feel is most impactful to my students. I have been offered endless opportunities to engage in meaningful professional development, access to cutting-edge technology, and state-of-the-art facilities. As a result, I have evolved as a teacher over the past decade and avoided stagnancy. The knowledge I have gained from programs such as the North Carolina Outward Bound Educator’s Initiative and the technology integration cohort: Powerful Learning Practice has enabled me to focus 21st Century education and grow personally and professionally.