Cathy Schieffelin

Upper School English Teacher

I learned the craft of teaching at KO by collaborating with my colleagues. We enjoy one another’s company and are all committed to our students. One lesson they’ve taught me is how important it is to let the students take the reins a bit more. Some of my most rewarding moments as a teacher have been when I’ve been in a supportive role, and I’ve let the students take the lead, and they’ve probably gotten way more out of an assignment or activity than if I have directed it. 

I’ve been so blessed at KO to have the autonomy to really be able to teach the things I really want to teach. I teach journalism, a film class, and a podcasting class—all passions of mine—as well as English. But I would have to say the most pivotal experience in my teaching career has been teaching the Baird English Symposium. Programs like these are not only beneficial to the students but also to the teachers. 

Teachers stay in a community like KO long-term because of the programs we do and because they know they are cared for. Investing in our teachers is critically important. I can’t tell you how often I’ve relied on someone like Rob Kyff, who’s been here 40+ years, for his wisdom. You need to retain good people because you have a better chance at growing and progressing as a school meaningfully. Students also see the value in those people who have committed themselves to a place. KO is a remarkable place, and that’s because of its teachers