Adriana Schleipman/Sagamore Staff

Talmadge Nardi

Talmadge Nardi is a Zumba lover, mother of two, world traveller, and now an English teacher at the high school. She’s kicking off her fourteenth year of teaching after having previously taught at the Francis Parker Charter School in Devens Massachusetts, the Academy of the Pacific Rim in Hyde Park, and also the Brooke High School in Mattapan.

What made you want to teach English?

I had a really awesome English teacher in High school, she taught me jazz age 1920s literature, and she was super enthusiastic about everything that she taught. Also, she knew her subject really well, and talked to us like we were real people. Again I guess I don’t know if that’s fair to say some teachers don’t, but she just leveled with us, and was like “What do you think about this!” She was very dramatic, so I try to model myself after her.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is when students realize something that they never realized before either about the book, about themselves, or about the world.

Can you describe a memorable or rewarding experience you have had while teaching?

I coached the slam poetry team at two of my schools, and seeing students that maybe weren’t super successful in the classroom, but really found themselves in the slam poetry world, is one of my favorite things. Also some students who were very successful, and also did awesome there. So it’s a place for everyone, even if they’re not academically superstars

What brought you to BHS?

I’ve always liked Brookline because I encounterd Brookline for the first time in the slam poetry world, and they always seemed to me like a school that lets students be who they wanted to be but was also very warm, team-oriented, and collaborative. And you could tell from the different groups from all over the state what a school’s personality was, and I always just really liked Brookline. I’m actually a part-time teacher here this year. I’m spending a little more time with my small children this year, so the course of those two things made me look for a position here. And also find something that fit my life.

What are your first impressions of BHS?

I think the students here have a lot of intellectual curiousity, students have asked me a lot of questions, not just about when something is due, or long it has to be, but background information on the author, or asked me what my favorite book I’m about to teach is. So students just seem to have a good intellectual curiousity about the world, and what they’re studying, and an openness to things they haven’t studied before.

What do you want your students to know about you?

I really care about writing, and becoming a good writer. And I give a lot of feedback on peoples’ writing. That’s one thing I’d tell them. And also, I hope that they find themselves in the texts that we read, even if the people in the books don’t look like them, or live where they live, or sound like they sound. And I’m excited to learn about them and their experiences in life, and English, and all of the above.

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