Thornton Academy News

Featured Faculty: Ed Whiting –TAMS Language Arts Teacher

It’s Faculty Friday and this week we’re excited to tell you about TAMS’ 8th grade language arts teacher, Ed Whiting! Mr. Whiting worked quite a few different jobs before he landed in teaching, but shared that “because reading played such a critical role in my life, I feel like I was always going to arrive at it sooner or later.” Mr. Whiting received a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Franklin Pierce University in 2012. Prior to joining the TAMS team, he taught high school English in Exeter, NH and middle school English in South Berwick, ME.

Mr. Whiting described his work as “attempting to get each student to realize their full potential as a reader, writer, and thinker—to get them to realize they have so much more under the surface than they realize.” His goal is to provide his students with the framework to be thoughtful, and the skills and confidence to express themselves thoughtfully. “Ultimately, I want them to come to their own informed judgements, and I love when they get me to question my own thinking.” 

When he’s not at TAMS, Mr. Whiting tries to spend as much time as possible out on the ocean during warmer months. He is thankful that his teaching schedule allows him to be home with his family during the afternoons, and oftentimes finds himself sharing his love of reading with his children. “Lately, much of my free time has been spent blissfully chasing my two little guys around the house, reading Gerald and Piggie stories, and building Legos.”  

What is the best thing about teaching at TA?
Two things readily come to mind when I think about what’s best about teaching at TA: 1) The kids — their energy, curiosity, and humor are invigorating. I probably smile, laugh, and learn a lot more in a day than many people in other professions; it’s awesome.  2) The trust of our principal and the independence that comes with it — I feel fortunate to be involved in crafting standards that I think matter most to students, and to be able to pursue those standards in ways that suit my strengths and personality. There’s no script or “classroom in a box” that I have to follow, and that allows me the space and means to best serve my students; they know that my enthusiasm is genuine.” 

Share a favorite TA memory!
“This is a tough one…no particular memory comes to mind, but I love the fact that the high school is just a couple steps over. Some of my happiest moments are the unexpected, yet friendly ‘hellos’ across the quad from past students as I travel about campus. To catch up with these students face-to-face and see and hear how they have matured into really great, successful young adults is an experience not every middle school teacher is fortunate to have; it’s one of the unique benefits of our shared campus, which I’m really thankful for.”

What do you hope for your students? 
“I hope that something in their education grabs their attention to such a degree that they can’t stop thinking about it — some curiosity or passion ignites within and drives them to meaningful self-discovery. Obviously, as an English teacher, I hope that ‘something’ is a book, but I’m cool if it’s something else. (Just not math…jk!) 

What do you hope for the future of TA?
“I hope that we really thoughtfully consider the role of technology in class and the balance of technology in our students’ lives. I feel like there’s a lot of implicit pressure on educators and students to integrate technology. Certainly, there are remarkable things that it can bring to education, but I think behind the hype and ubiquity, technology may be more at odds with the mindsets and processes we hope to foster than we actually realize.”

Faculty fun fact!
“Favorite book has always been a tough question for me. I can tell you the best book I’ve read in a while though was Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbottom. It was absolutely remarkable.”

Mr. Whiting's love of learning, and enthusiasm for reading and writing inspires his students to realize and appreciate the importance of language arts. His ability to see the potential in each student makes it easier for them to find it in themselves. Thank you for the curiosity and courage you inspire, Mr. Whiting. We appreciate you!