From pills to protractors
How does someone who wanted to be a pharmacist end up teaching high school geometry? Supposedly, when you throw in a love for kids and math, your career path can take a drastic turn.
Lauren Bender is one of the newest teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A New York native, Bender studied elementary education at the University of Maryland.
Bender was up for the challenge when she opted to teach high school math. For 10 years, she worked as an elementary school teacher. Although she loved younger kids, she felt she needed more structure in her classroom and turned to high school students. She previously taught at Cypress Bay High School, which she enjoyed greatly, but decided to relocate to MSD to be closer to home.
So far, Bender feels her experience at MSD has been wonderful. With support of administration, she enjoys the flexibility and freedom to teach how she feels is best.
“I enjoy having the freedom and opportunity to teach how I would like, the administration here allows that” Bender said.
Bender has an interesting teaching style, especially when it comes to groups. Her teaching style lends itself to a lot of group work. She is big on communication and creating a welcoming environment for students to get to know each other. Don’t be surprised if you’re in her class and get grouped with others in your same birthday month, or alphabetically or maybe even by the color clothing you’re wearing that day.
Bender puts students into groups for various assignments like a project to a simple worksheet. Through group assignments, students are able to interact with each other to problem-solve. No matter the circumstance, she is always there to help her students, and she asserts that communication with other classmates is key.
Bender is an avid reader, primarily enjoying historical fiction novels in her free time. She recommends novels like “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseni.
Overall, Bender is enjoying her experience at MSD thus far and looks forward to teaching more students here in the years to come.