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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Patrick Kieffer

Middle School Core Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum?

I teach English and history in the 5th Grade. My favorite part of the work is being able to move between conversations about history and society and conversations about language and mythology. It's all connected, and as a teacher of both subjects, I have the unique opportunity to explore those connections with my kids.

Besides your subject, what's something you hope to teach your students?

I try to teach productive, positive skepticism. Whether we're discussing bias in a primary source document or an author's intent in a novel, I like to remind my kids to consider context and to always be looking for the unseen factors at play. Oh, and also, how to laugh at yourself. That's a big one, and I model it every chance I get.

What's one thing you love about your colleagues?

Whenever I brag about Packer, which is something I do often, I start with my colleagues. They never take shortcuts. Everyone works hard to engage fully with our students and they're always looking to improve their practice and their kids' experiences. And if they do complain, it's only about things that get in the way of their work. I really admire and appreciate that about this community.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Oh, that's easy! I would be able to talk to dogs. Obvi.

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