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Taylor Teaching Award 2018

July 23, 2018 / Catherine Nicholas / Spotlight - Grants

Dickson Benesh is back from his Taylor Teaching Award-funded trip to the UK!  In the picture on the left, he is at Woolsthorpe Manor in Grantham, England, the birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton.  He is standing next to the famous apple tree from which Newton observed an apple falling, leading him to ponder the nature of gravity.  Dickson’s trip allowed him to follow in the footsteps of Sir Issac Newton from childhood through his years at university to his final years in London.

Why Isaac Newton?  In addition to being one of the fathers of Calculus, “Isaac Newton (mathematician, scientist, theologian) is the father of so much that we learn here at Maggie Walker,” says Mr. Benesh.  “Further, he was a misunderstood gifted kid who somehow overcame his humble beginnings as a farm boy to become one of the greatest scientists that the world has ever known.”  He adds, “The paradox of teaching mathematics is often that we are supposed to model the real world, but oftentimes without actually working or even going into the real world. By following the footsteps of Newton, I will be out in the real world, for sure, but I will also have the opportunity to make rich connections between the real world and the mathematics that I’m teaching.”

The Taylor Teaching Award was established upon the retirement of beloved school founder, teacher, and administrator Pat Taylor.  Every year, a MLWGS teacher, selected by an independent committee, receives a $7500 grant to support a summer international travel experience that will directly impact and enrich their classroom instruction. The award helps faculty members develop a first-hand understanding of world cultures and provides opportunities to build interdisciplinary instruction.  It’s just one of the ways the Foundation helps make MLWGS a better place for teachers.

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