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New Teacher Spotlight: Jennifer Cutler

History+teacher+Jennifer+Cutler+is+eager+to+join+Beachwood%27s+diverse+community.+Photo+by+Kelly+Chiang.+
History teacher Jennifer Cutler is eager to join Beachwood's diverse community. Photo by Kelly Chiang.

History teacher Jennifer Cutler is eager to join Beachwood's diverse community. Photo by Kelly Chiang.

History teacher Jennifer Cutler is eager to join Beachwood's diverse community. Photo by Kelly Chiang.

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1. ) Where are you from?  

I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, but lived in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia before relocating to Cleveland.

2.) What brought you to the Cleveland area? 

My husband got a job with University Hospitals.

3.) What was the process like applying for a job at BHS?

Nerve wracking, but exciting.

4.) Have you taught before? If so, how many years have you taught, and where have you worked before coming to Beachwood? 

When we moved to Cleveland last year, I got a job teaching French at Laurel School’s elementary division. My background is in history, so I was eager to find a job in that field.

5.) How do you think Beachwood will be similar/different than other schools? 

Laurel pulled students from all over the Northeast Ohio region. The school created a close-knit community for its students and staff, yet I’m looking forward to working in an environment where the school is part of a larger community, like that of Beachwood.

6.) What are your expectations/plans for this year? 

I’m grateful to work with Ms. Ogilvy and the Social Studies department. The department is quite talented and willing to share their expertise. There are some pedagogical approaches that I’m going to further explore this year from Mr. Holman’s 21st Century Classroom, including the Flipped Classroom and Problem-Based Learning.

7.) Do you assign a lot of homework? 

Hmmm…. this question is rather ambiguous, and perhaps a bit biased. How does one define “a lot?” And how does one qualify “a lot?” I have certain expectations for my students regarding achievement. My job is to help students succeed so they gain the skills and abilities necessary to become productive members of a global community.

8.) Where did you go to college? Would you recommend it to Beachwood students? 

I went to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania for undergraduate and University of Maryland for graduate school. I’m happy to discuss either of these institutions with any student interested. I firmly believe that college is individualized and students can make their own successes no matter where they attend. It’s important to find a school that offers courses and extracurriculars that are geared towards one’s interests.

I’m grateful to work with Ms. Ogilvy and the Social Studies department. The department is quite talented and willing to share their expertise.”

— Social studies teacher Jennifer Cutler

9.) What is your favorite book or movie? Why? 

Although Harry Potter was my life for a while, I’d have to say that my all time favorite book is The Alienist, by Caleb Carr. It’s a mystery novel that takes place at the turn of the 20th Century in New York Citiy. I love mysteries and historical fiction, so this was right up my alley. Warning: It’s a little violent (think Jack the Ripper, but in New York City instead of London.) Three of my favorites which I read for pleasure in high school include A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Prayer for Owen Meany, and She’s Come Undone.

10.) How do you cope with stress? 

Retail therapy and planning a vacation or trip. I’m an avid reader as well – currently I’m in two book clubs and would be happy to help facilitate one for Beachwood students.

11.) Do you use social media in your classroom? Why / why not? 

Yes. Social media is a tool that can enhance learning when used to bolster the content. Students should also understand the impact of their digital footprint and online presence, which creates sources and becomes part of our history.

12.) What’s so great about the subject you teach? 

I love how fluid and relevant history is. So much of what occurs in current events is rooted in historical practices. What we “know” about the past today may change as we uncover more evidence. The skills that one can learn from analyzing and constructing an argument from sources are unparalleled.

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New Teacher Spotlight: Jennifer Cutler