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#KnowYourPelicans: Esther Liu Harris
Posted 02/24/2017 11:46AM

Know Your Pelicans - Esther Harris

#KnowYourPelicans: Esther Liu Harris

What is your favorite thing about Packer?

Packer supports teacher professional growth, creates space for community members to discuss important social issues, and encourages students and faculty to challenge themselves.

Describe a favorite or memorable moment in your classroom at Packer.

As I sat at my desk, I could hear singing from the hallway. A minor chord sung in solfège syllables caught my attention: strains of "Stabat Mater" by Zoltán Kodály. I recognized the singers as my Upper School choral students. I did not want to disturb their focus so I just listened. They stopped a few times to speak to each other, then resumed singing. They talked about which physical movements would go well with the melodic lines and dynamics. The students did lip-trill warm-ups using a few phrases from the piece. I was touched that they would practice the piece together on their own. Later that day, one of the students told me that they were surprised that they were able to find their starting pitches from the minor chord and practice the piece so successfully without me. He said the group would definitely meet again for another informal rehearsal!

Name a book/artwork/piece of music that changed your life and explain how.

Edward Elgar's "Salut d'Amour Op.12" awakens my sensitivity to life's experiences, promotes connectedness to others, and reminds me to be thankful every day that I am very blessed to have an amazing family! I can hear and feel the deepest human joy and longing for beauty!

What are some things that most Packer people wouldn't know about you?

Before I became a teacher, I used to work in finance in Hong Kong, my birthplace. It was fun but teaching is more meaningful and exciting to me.

Outside of Packer, I teach at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and in the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School. I will soon earn my doctoral degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. I just got an article published in the American Music Educators Journal and will be presenting a workshop at a national music conference in March.

I love to eat all types of food — food is an adventure for me. Food can deepen your understanding of cultures and the people who you are sharing the food with!

Previous Pelicans:

Kindergarten Teacher Anne Montero

Upper School Science Teacher Alice Lurain

World Languages Teacher Su-Ling Huang

Upper School Art Teacher Eric Baylin

Preschool Teacher Lynnette Arthur

Middle School English Teacher Todd Johnson

Physical Education Teacher and Coach Rich Domanico

Food Services Member Ann Martinez

Lower School Librarian Chris Rush

Upper School Computer Science Teacher Louis Minsky '09

Upper School History Teacher Monika Johnston

First Grade Teacher Irene Turner

Interim Chair of the Arts Department Ali Boag

Middle School Dean of Student Life and Health Teacher Bessie Oster

Fourth Grade Teacher Tim Jensen

Middle School Math Teacher Ashley Greene

The Packer Collegiate Institute
170 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 250-0200
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