Gray Goodman is the Head of the History and Social Studies Department at Delaware Valley Friends School. He teaches four sections of 9th grade World History as well as sharing his personal talent and passion by teaching photography in the art department. In addition to his duties as a classroom teacher, Gray is a student Advisor and he is one of two faculty advisors for the Upper School Quaker-based student government. He was the first Athletic Director at DVFS, and is remembered by many as a coach and mentor. A practicing Quaker himself, Gray is a resource for the school on issues related to Friends philosophy and practices. Gray has spent 30 years of his 40-year teaching career at Delaware Valley Friends and has worked with students who learn differently throughout.
Q: Why do you like teaching at DVFS?One of the things I really value about working at DVFS is the constant availability of opportunities for further training
Q: How is DVFS different than other schools where you have taught?
DVFS has a clearer mission about the sort of student we are looking for and there is more cooperation amongst faculty here than I have experienced elsewhere.
Q: How do you help students with learning differences learn?
I take a structured approach, teaching skills first, content second. I am very deliberate with organizing class time and materials - placing an agenda on the board each day and reviewing and signing student plan-books daily. We practice study skills in class, and I am careful to assign homework tasks students are capable of doing independently.
Q: What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
My enthusiasm for history and different cultures and integrating Friends Testimonies into the content are experiences that help shape who I am as a teacher.
Q: In your experience, what sets DVFS students apart?
Their compassion for others and that they learn to be self-advocates are what stand out to me the most. Most learn to see that of God in themselves (self-esteem), which is a central aspect of the Quaker philosophy.
Q: How do your other roles at the school provide a different perspective?
Teaching art gives me a chance to see students use their visual skills instead of working with them on language-based tasks. As a government advisor, I see students making use of their organizational and social skills instead of always viewing them in the context of their text-based skills.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about DVFS?
Friends Education begins with the concept that there is that of God in everyone and builds from there. It is a wonderful learning platform for students with learning differences who often have been in environments where they have been made to feel that there is NOT that of the divine/special within them or in the teachers/staff around them