Name: Stephanie Lee
Department: Social Studies
Education: Business Major from George Washington University, Masters from University of Maryland – College Park
Year started at Blair: 2005
Previous Jobs: Teaching at Thurgood Marshall Public Charter Academy in Washington D.C. and Ridgefield High School in Connecticut
Hobbies: playing soccer, reading, playing the guitar, watching movies
Stephanie Lee walks into a classroom wearing a new shirt. She lectures her students at the board and halfway through the class period, her students stop her to tell her that the tags on her shirt are still on. Later, her entire class has to tell her that her fly is unzipped. But for this young teacher, such situations don't spell trouble because, as she says, "[embarassing] moments like those create a good working relationship in the room."
Lee is surprised by her students' initiatives to seek help. "I love it when students come for help," she says with a smile across her face. "I'm proud of them for taking responsibility for their education!"
Lee's teaching style in the classroom revolves not only around her students understanding the material, but the entire setting for learning being just right. "Teachers are interested in two things," she says. "Creating a successful atmosphere for learning, and creating good relationships with students. When you get to see that both of those goals are being accomplished, then you know something you're doing is actually working!"
But Lee was not always interested in teaching. At George Washington University, she had intented to graduate a business major, but that notion soon changed. "Many things inspired me to teach, so it's hard to pinpoint just one thing," Lee says. "I was deeply inspired by Barack Obama's book "Dreams from My Father". I spent a lot of time in college working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America and I think that also helped steer me into a field where I could work with adolescents."
Besides working as a teacher, Lee has worked as a personal assistant to a local mortgage broker in Connecticut and interned at the US Department of Education and Maryland State Department of Educationworking on online curriculum links. This gave her some experience in education in Maryland leading up to her teaching job here at Blair.
Lee also has a few other hopes for her future that do not involve teaching directly. One thing she aspires to do is write a book. Reading is one of her favorite pastimes and she hopes to write her own novel someday. Lee would also like to return to school and earn her PhD.
Lee's career is just getting started and the young and enthusiastic teacher will always have a dream or a goal to strive towards. Whether it's teaching, playing soccer or playing the guitar, Lee will meet it head on.