Teachers Find a Second Home at Colleges

Victoria Berube, STAFF WRITER

   For years, Trinity Prep has been home to many teachers who also instruct at the college level. 

   English Teacher Susan Lilley has been teaching college courses since the 80s and began teaching here at Trinity in 1996.

   “When I came to Trinity and heard about AP classes, I had only kids who had already had AP English, so I was seeing the other side,” Lilley said. 

   Pre-Algebra teacher Stefani Wood began working as an adjunct professor at Rollins College 14 years ago and started teaching at Trinity in 2015. Here, she teaches Pre-Algebra to sixth and seventh graders. 

   “I love the additional content and the ability to work at different and diverse levels with students,” Wood said. 

   Teaching middle school students is different from teaching college students in the different levels of information they have. For instance, college students have gone through more experiences than middle school students. 

   “The longer you’ve been in school, the better you are at knowing yourself as a learner. Wood said. “You’ve had more experiences, made more mistakes, and learned and grown from them.”

   Similar to how students organize their schoolwork due to block scheduling, Mathematics Department Chair Donald Worcester organizes his preparations for his high school and college classes. 

   “I usually [prepare] over the weekend [for UCF],” Worcester said. “[For Trinity], I’m usually prepping in the morning and I’m a few days ahead.” 

   Most college courses meet for class only one time a week which could be beneficial for the student and professor in the sense of homework organization and lesson planning. Lilley compartmentalizes her work for college into a couple nights a week. 

   “There was class filling into my Trinity work because that’s my main gig and I wanted that to be the most important, but I didn’t want to cheat my Rollins students out of my attention,” Lilley said. 

    Working and planning for two different courses and skill levels can be a lot of work, but Wood says it does not feel like work at all. 

   “It’s something that I’m really passionate about in both areas that planning and preparing and getting ready to do things in either classes doesn’t feel burdensome in any way.” Wood said. 

   Adjunct students usually are coming from everyday jobs in contrast to the high energy of middle school students.

    “It keeps me on my toes, doing diverse levels and getting to have fun with that. I think it keeps me fresh and excited about what I do … I think I like doing both, versus just one,” Wood said. 

   Since Trinity Prep is a college preparatory school, many teachers say the campus is very “college-like.”

   “We’re kind of a non-traditional school here, where buildings are all separate,” Worcester said. “So I mean, it’s kind of very college-like.”