Benjamin Marsh is a new wellness teacher at the high school this year. He loves to travel, work out and spend time with friends and family. He strives to create a safe space for all his students to feel comfortable in and a community where everyone feels accepted.
What was your first impression of the high school?
The students are very driven and self-motivated, which I really liked. I come from a background of working with athletes, especially college athletes, and typically, athletes are pretty self-motivated. They want to be there, they want to get better. When I came to Brookline, I saw a lot of those qualities in students. That’s something that I was able to easily relate to and made me excited to work in Brookline.
What are your goals for this year and as a teacher?
The first one is to interact with students in the best way possible. We all had a crazy year last year, we were all remote, and it was super weird. I want to try to bring my students back into real life here in live school and just make them feel comfortable and have fun, back to the basics. I want to do everything I can to give knowledge to my students in any sort of way in terms of wellness and physical activity. Anything I can give my students this year to reduce stress or be more active that they can use this year and the years to come, is my main goal.
What were the highlights of your own high school experience and how would you want to incorporate those into your teaching?
My first highlight was being on the soccer team. I had a huge sense of community and made a ton of friends. I felt like I belonged, which was a big thing for me. The other thing is when I became a senior, it felt like our whole grade came together. It felt like everybody was friends with each other and that was something that was super eye-opening, because there were people that I had never really talked to before that I wasn’t friends with and then senior year rolls around and we’re all kind of in it together. From those two experiences again, it’s the community aspect, in my classroom and in the gym. I want to try to create a place where people feel comfortable and are excited to walk in the door.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your teaching experience?
I like being in-person more. The biggest challenge in-person for me right now is not being able to see everyone’s full faces. I’m a very visual person, I want to be able to see people’s emotions and read that. When we wear a mask that covers most of our face, it’s kind of tough to get a sense of how a person is feeling. Remote [learning] was really challenging last year, especially when we went hybrid and we were trying to teach the students online and in-person. I’m just really thankful that we have everyone in person and we kind of have to roll with it and do the best we can.
What do you do when you’re not teaching?
I work out and I really enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I recently got a puppy, and her name is Nala. We rescued her and she’s nine months old now. My life is basically just hanging out with friends and family and playing with my puppy all the time. I guess outside of school, I kind of have a boring life, but I kind of love that.
What are some of your hobbies?
We recently bought a house in December so I feel like a lot of my hobbies are now caring for house stuff. I go on hikes and play sports with some of my high school buddies. I really like to travel. I studied abroad in Spain which was super cool and I stayed with a host family. If I had unlimited money, I think I would travel all over the world to see all of Europe and Asia.