As part of our ongoing series Meet Our GDS Faculty and Staff, we are excited to present: Meet Katherine Dunbar! Read the Q&A below to learn more about Katherine, High School English teacher.
Why do you teach/do your job?
Teaching English at the High School fills my mind and heart to overflowing.
Other GDS activities or roles we may not know about?
Faculty advisor for FMG (the High School's non-male intersectional feminist affinity group); Mentor/Instructional Coach for High School teachers and faculty in their first three years at GDS
What do you love about GDS?
I love my colleagues and my students, who inspire me every day to think deeply about how I move through the world.
A favorite lesson to teach or favorite part of your job:
Even after more than 20 years of doing this, I find every classroom hour exhilarating. My job—to share a room with a dozen or so really interesting and vibrant people so that we can all talk purposefully about a piece of extraordinary writing—is almost ridiculously wonderful.
Your teaching or work style in three words?
Connective, interrogative, passionate
A top hope/wish for your students and/or colleagues:
I hope that my students leave my classroom urgently invested in asking the biggest questions about how to live a meaningful life.
I love reading novels (especially ones that make me question what I thought I already knew), taking long road trips (especially ones that take me to a shoreline), and visiting museum exhibitions (especially ones that leave me frayed around the edges).
My favorite place is anywhere my family is.
One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
Most people don't know this about me: that I won the Home Economics award in 8th grade. How did I earn this honor? By sewing a wrap-around skirt out of kitchen-curtain fabric and then actually wearing it to school, and by (under)cooking a way-too-ambitious dish of chicken Kiev and then actually serving it to my principal (who ate the whole thing, the kind but reckless man).
One thing on your life "bucket list" you've already accomplished:
Leaving a boring, meaningless job and backpacking all over the world for a year.
One thing on your life “bucket list” you have yet to accomplish:
Retiring from a really fulfilling and meaningful job and backpacking all over the world for a year.
This photo is from this summer: me, with my family, on a road trip, by a shoreline. So many of the things I love!
Years at GDS?
25 years and now more than a month into the 26th year
With a tip from Katherine, we reached out to hear what a colleague had to say:
Nadia Mahdi, an English department colleague, said, “Katherine is a phenomenal presence in the classroom as well as in her affinity-group work. She has also been a terrific mentor to teachers at GDS. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her in all those roles. I learned more from her than I can say!”