Profiling a dedicated teacher
By: Damian Morden-Snipper
Name: Rondai Ravilious
Department: Social Studies
Education: University of Maryland
Year started at Blair: 2002
Previous jobs: taught adult education, taught at a Jewish day school, did accounting for a publishing company
Hobbies: visiting museums, cooking, gardening
At 2:10 p.m., the rhythmic, pre-recorded bell sounds in Blair's hallways. Wading through the tide of rushing bodies and bulging backpacks, social studies teacher Rondai Ravilious pushes a paper-, book-, and file-filled cart on the way to her eighth period classroom. Forty-six minutes and one AP World History class later, she works her way to the Social Studies Office but is stopped within the doorway when addressed by a student, a teacher and an urgent telephone call.
Ravilious, who has been employed at Blair for the past two years, is quite passionate about her work. "[Teaching] is so exciting. I like to have an exchange with students about their ideas," Ravilious says grinning.
According to Ravilious, teaching is an ever-growing process that encourages pupils to pursue life-learning. "I want the students to understand that my goal as a teacher is to reach them and partner with them," she explains. "I like keeping in touch with previous students." However, Ravilious believes that many people don't value a teacher's job. "I think that educators are misunderstood and not respected by society and that society owes them respect for the work they do. Teaching is a tough job," she emphasizes.
Ravilious's love of history stems from her early years growing up in D.C. "I was so close to all the historic places here in Washington," she explains, "and I would visit them a lot."
Outside the classroom, Ravilious enjoys a variety of activities. "I love cooking, gardening, working on my house, traveling, and spending time with my family," she says, leaning back in her chair. "When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my family. Sunday was for 'family-time.' I really try to spend a lot of time with my friends and family."
Before arriving at Blair, Ravilious worked for a publishing company, taught adult education classes, and educated students at a Jewish day school. After making the career decision to teach at Blair, Ravilious says she was nervous about working in a new environment but feels she had "a seamless transition. It was so easy adjusting; the people here were wonderful," Ravilious says with an emphatic nod.
Sophomore Sebastian Johnson, who is enrolled in the SGA class that Ravilious teaches, thinks very highly of her, regardless of how nervous she was initially. "She's really positive and upbeat, and she's always trying to get things done as a group," he says, fondly.