Jackie Middleton teaches Upper School English as well as one-on-one language arts tutorials at Delaware Valley Friends School. Jackie joined DV as substitute teacher in 2010, and became a permanent faculty member in 2016. Prior to her time at DVFS, Jackie taught in the Coatesville Area School District. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys artistic pursuits as well when she is away from the classroom. Jackie will be stepping into the role of Chair of the English Department in September 2018. Read a brief interview with Jackie below:
Q: What drew you to Delaware Valley Friends School?Teaching at a school where you can put your experience and skills to work for students who really both need and appreciate the help is important and fulfilling, and DVFS is that kind of place. I first got to know about DVFS years ago when my friend Kathy Justi was contemplating a position here, and, even at that time, it seemed like a cool place to teach.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching English?
I love English literature because it provides an excellent lens through which you can tap into so many important life issues and themes. The discussions we can have in class are limitless with a good book in front of us.
Q: What are you most enjoying about your new role at DVFS?
I’ve been substituting at DVFS since 2010, but what makes this different is that the consistency of seeing the students on a daily basis helps me feel more connected to them and better able to help them than I felt when I was coming and going. It’s also nice to see friends and colleagues on a regular basis. The community has been very welcoming.
Q: What is your vision for 12th grade English at DVFS?
At this point in their high school careers, it’s extremely important that seniors are prepared for the type of work that will be expected of them at college. As a result, I very consciously design my course to model how they will need to apply themselves to be effective in that post-secondary environment. We focus on using tools and modalities that will work for them when they are in college. For example, I invited Barbara Lee from the technology department to walk the students through how they could best use Evernote to manage their schedules and assignments. I also encourage the students to use text-to-speech tools to read back their papers to them so that they can pick up mistakes that they may have missed visually editing their work. The schedule and assignments are also similar to what they can expect in a college level course.
Q: What did you do before coming to DVFS?
I have been at DVFS for a while as a substitute, but prior to that, I taught in the Coatesville Area School District. There, I pioneered student-led conferences and created a grant-based garden project that integrated science, math, social studies and language arts. The produce from the garden went to a local women’s shelter. That program still exists today. In the classroom, I had a lot of experience with Project Read in Coatesville, which is another multisensory approach to learning.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not teaching at DVFS?
I compete in triathlons, play competitive tennis, draw and paint, and I am a yoga instructor and field hockey coach.