Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipient: Andrew Rothman, TEP’10By admin
Philadelphia native Andrew Rothman came to the Ed School having experienced the ins and outs of teaching. However, by enrolling in the Teacher Education Program (TEP), he hoped to learn more about teaching, from research to best practice. Now armed with what he considers the necessary frameworks, Rothman plans to put the “pedal to the metal and really deliver outstanding instruction” as he heads to his dream job teaching ninth grade U.S. History at EPIC Academy, an Expeditionary Learning School in Chicago. “Ninth grade is a make or break year, so I’m both humbled and excited and to have so many families placing so much trust in me,” he says.
Senior Lecturer Kay Merseth, director of TEP, has no doubt that Andrew’s “steady and wise leadership” will only bring him good things as he leaves HGSE. “His commitment to urban youth, his eagerness to improve his practice, and his caring and support of fellow students makes him an obvious choice for this award,” she says.
Upon learning that he had been honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for TEP, Rothman answered some questions about his time at the Ed School and beyond.
What was your favorite class at the Ed School?
I was lucky to take many great classes here. I’m truly grateful to [Assistant Professor] Meira Levinson, who pushed me harder than any teacher I’ve ever had. My favorite class was probably School, Family, and Community Partnerships with [Lecturer] Karen Mapp. Most professors here at least pay lip service to the expertise and wisdom of “ordinary people,” but Dr. Mapp really walked the walk. I also felt incredibly comfortable around her, which wasn’t something I was expecting at Harvard.
What is something that you learned at HGSE that you will take with you throughout your career in education?
Look for deficits and you will find them. Look for strengths and you will be amazed at what you find.
Any special study spots on campus (or off)?
Lamont during the witching hour, 4-6 am.
What advice do you have for next year’s students going through your program?
Read the archived course evaluations carefully when deciding what to take. Try not to think that you are smarter than your students, because in any classroom there is probably at least one student that could blow you out of the water if given the right opportunities. Remember that teaching is based on personal relationships, and healthy personal relationships are based on respect. Teaching is technical, but it’s also political and emotional.
If you could transport one person/place/thing in Harvard Square to your next
destination, what would it be?
The insane amount of wealth and resources that are concentrated in the area. I would like to redistribute those to the community that I’ll be teaching in, and hope that I am in fact doing this in a small way by using my Harvard degree in service of my students.
What will you change in education and why?
I probably won’t change that much, but I hope to support the students who will profoundly remake the society that we live in. That’s enough for me!