We are pleased to welcome Joel to Sewickley Academy. Joel comes to us from the Ellis School, where he taught both Spanish and Latin having previously taught these languages at Winchester Thurston School. A polyglot who speaks Swedish in addition to Spanish and English, Joel revels in the study of language and the entrée such study provides into culture.
Joel holds the equivalent of a B.A. in Education in History and Spanish, from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Additional study includes coursework on the issues of Latin American masculinity at the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas in San Salvador, El Salvador; and Spanish Language and Literature, Ethnology, Philology, and History of Latin American Culture at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain). When not engaged in language study, Joel enjoys playing ice hockey and guitar.
SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?
JS: I wanted to work with languages in a school known for its quality of teaching and partnership with new faculty.
SA: What motivated you to become a teacher?
JS: I had a great history teacher in high school that really made me want to learn more and more. After some time I realized that I could do the same thing and hopefully make students want to learn!
SA: What do you enjoy most about teaching?
JS: That I get to spend a lot of time with the subjects I love by teaching it, while learning even more alongside the students. I particularly enjoy the moment when you see that a student realizes/understands something he/she has not understood before!
SA: What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class(es)?
JS: That the world is bigger than just Sewickley or Pittsburgh; and that languages will take you everywhere in that world!
SA: How do you keep current with the subject areas you cover?
JS: Self-studies at home, professional development opportunities, discussions with fellow teachers.
SA: Favorite book as a child?
JS: I was a big fan of my fellow Swede Pippi Longstocking.
SA: Favorite book as an adult?
JS: I have been really into Caesar lately.
SA: What are some of your interests/hobbies?
JS: I like biking, playing hockey, and golfing - and spending time with my family, of course!
SA: What are you most looking forward to this school year?
JS: Getting to know the school and the community - and hopefully making it even better by teaching Latin.