Teacher Linda: Questions Answered
Amanda Weaver, Sarah Moldoff, Staff Writers
October 31, 2011
Filed under Features
One of Teacher Linda McGuire’s favorite qualities of Westtown’s environment is the passion of the students. The new Dean of Students appreciates how the student body will band together and show their opinion. “I think it’s great that there’s all this spunk and spirit,” she says, “there’s a lot of passion here, I really like that.” T. Linda knows that there’s no pleasing everybody, but she’s determined to come as close as possible to just that. There are plans to gather a committee of various students and teachers to modify Westtown’s newly enforced dress code. She would like to have the dress code become more specific, with outlined principles, as well as simplifying the student handbook to make it easier for students to understand the rules. One of the helpful changes that will be made to the dress code is a distinction between the academic day and the rest of student life at Westtown. T. Linda knows that there is no perfect dress code, but she would like Westtown’s dress code to embody the principles of neat, clean, and appropriate for the occasion.
T. Linda has been working with kids since she was twenty-two years old. She started out with a 6th month internship at a public school, and has worked with kids ever since. Before coming to Westtown she had worked at the Hyde School in Woodstock, Connecticut. Westtown’s atmosphere reminds her of Friends Select, where she attended from kindergarten to ninth grade, before going to Baldwin for her remaining three years in high school. “I just think it’s a warm, really comfortable environment,” T. Linda said when describing Westtown. She thinks highly of all of her colleagues and speaks of Westtown’s campus fondly. One of her favorite parts about Westtown is the connections that she can make with the students and faculty. T. Linda loves to work with kids, and cherishes each exchange with the students. She knows that she’s exactly where she wants to be, working with kids, and says that “I’m not sure if I’d ever do anything else.”
One of T. Linda’s main goals for Westtown is to improve the demerit system. She “believes that you should be held accountable.” In order to enhance the demerit system, T. Linda also plans to make it harder to give out false demerits. She wants there to be a conversation before the demerit is given, not afterwards. These plans are to help give demerits more of a meaning to students, so that when a student is given a demerit, it’s not because of a misunderstanding, but because he or she actually broke a rule. T. Linda also believes in giving second chances, “kids do have the opportunity to give back to the community,” she said referring to working off demerits. T. Linda is a big advocate of clearing demerits by helping around the community. She understands that students are late every now and then, or forget a work job, and wants them to be able to redeem themselves. Her main goal for the demerit system is to result in a discipline system that everybody feels good about.
T. Linda is all about the students. She believes that the students should always be the main focus of a school. She is coming into Westtown full of great ideas to help improve the school’s systems. Personal connections, however, are what T. Linda says is the most rewarding part of her job, and the reason she loves to work with kids.