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Best of the Week 2020-2021: Excellence in College Prep



As he finishes up his senior as an English Literature and Professional Writing double major at Miami University (Ohio), Anthony Raffin '17 reached out to his alma mater to learn more about the teaching profession and to improve his teaching skills and knowledge. Gaining advice from Principal KC McKenna '00 and being given the opportunity to come back to his alma mater to shadow his former high school English teacher Mark Urban, Anthony has been able to experience firsthand the humbling and rewarding aspects of being an educator. "From my undergraduate studies, I knew I wanted to teach. This is my calling and I can't deny it," says Anthony. "I never thought I'd ever be able to come back to St. Ed's four years after graduating and in an instructional role to help develop students' appreciation for literature and writing. Similarly, I've also gained a greater appreciation for Mr. Urban and fellow educators, seeing the work they do from day to day and the personal moments that come with it. It's been a very humbling experience." As part of this two week experience, Anthony has been helping Mr. Urban in his AP English Literature & Composition and College Composition I classes with editing and offering one-on-one assistance to students during their writing processes. "It's important for aspiring teachers to have opportunities to see what goes on behind the scenes and to see the human components of teaching, not to mention the modern day challenges brought on by teaching during a pandemic," says Mr. Urban. "It's been nice to have Anthony's voice in the classroom to provide students with the knowledge of how what they're doing in class will be applied longterm to their collegiate studies. He's able to better relate to our Edsmen since he was in their shoes not so long ago. It's been a lot of fun to have Anthony back in the classroom in a professional way and I feel honored to have him shadowing me. Our network and community at St. Ed's runs deep and, like in this instance, provides unique experiences to help our students and alums live out their passions." Mr. Urban intends to create a strategic outline for next week's curriculum to give Anthony a more in-depth opportunity to provide instruction and to determine his teaching style. "Thus far, Anthony's interactions with my students show how comfortable he is engaging with them and providing instruction. He's a wide-eyed thinker and an enthusiastic leader who constantly wants to learn and grow. I can already tell that he's going to be a great educator and a great addition to the educating community," says Mr. Urban. Reflecting on his past experiences as an Edsman, Anthony shares how St. Ed's best prepared him for his future aspirations and what advice he'd pass along to fellow Edsmen. "I fully attribute my development as a man to the lessons I learned in the classroom and on the rowing team when I was attending St. Ed's," says Anthony. "This experience has helped me flip the perspective from an Edsman and college student to that of a teacher and educator. Coming back to my alma mater and entering the classroom not as a student but as an educator has been extremely insightful. Walking these halls and seeing the quotes and Holy Cross values all around have given me an emotional and spiritual experience in understanding the call to my vocation. As cliche as it sounds, I advise current and future Edsmen to find what you love and to listen to their calling."

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