New Teacher Spotlight: Levine & Madden

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New English teacher Maggie Madden

Faith Fonseca, Reporter

 

 

There are several new teachers working in Taft’s Language and Literature department this year and the Taft Today caught up with Emma Levine and Maggie Madden to find out more about them and how the transition to Taft is going. 

Maggie Madden, who also teaches sophomore English, is in her first year of teaching. Before this year, she was a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in English and a double minor in Secondary Education and Spanish. While this is Madden’s first year at Taft, she is familiar with the school.

“Since I grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, I always heard about how great Taft is. I wanted to join a team of teachers, administrators, and support staff who really care about their students, want to make learning fun and prioritize social and emotional learning even before remote learning began– which is exactly what Taft does!” said Madden. 

A big challenge for Madden as a new teacher at Taft is not being able to meet some of her new colleagues in person due to the pandemic. “I can’t wait to get into the classroom and meet everyone in person!” said Madden. 

Emma Levine, who teaches five sections of sophomore English, earned her Bachelors of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently in her second year of teaching, but this year is her first at Taft. 

“I was drawn to Taft because it is a neighborhood school with high-quality programs, that offers opportunities for students to challenge themselves, learn from excellent staff members, and support their community,” said Levine. 

While Levine has been impressed by the high levels of critical thinking and engagement that students from Taft have demonstrated, she has experienced some struggles as a result of being a new teacher during the pandemic.

“The biggest challenge about being a new teacher during remote learning is feeling disconnected from the other staff members,” said Levine. 

 

Levine and Madden are just two of 32 new teachers at Taft this year.