Two years after the New Media Center classrooms opened at Thornton Academy, faculty are busy teaching students everything from 3D Graphics to Computer Programming to Journalism in the high-tech classrooms. Postscripts visited one of these teachers—Hope Hall—both in the classroom and at home on her Sunflower Creamery farm in Cumberland. She shared what inspires her teaching of journalism.
“My mother was an English teacher when I was growing up and I still admire her very much. I always wanted to follow in her footsteps. The only other thing I considered being was a veterinarian.
“The one thing we are most starved for in today’s very busy world is stories. They make us feel human and connected. Great journalists know that there are amazing stories just below the surface of every interaction. These stories are a gift that only artful, careful writers have the ability to fully honor.
“The same is true of being in a classroom. Teaching allows me the honor of learning who my students are beneath the surface. We all carry around amazing burdens and joys each day. Students’ stories follow me into my life outside of school and make me a better person.
“Teaching makes me want to live an interesting life so that I have lots to share with the students in my classroom. I love the connectedness that comes with working a farm. It reminds me daily that nothing works in isolation. The weather affects the hay, which affects my goats’ health, which affects the milk, which affects the cheese, which affects the health and joy of my farm’s visitors. I found this to be an infectious idea that propelled me forward and helped me establish a commercial dairy.”
Hope and her husband—Thornton Academy teacher Chris Hall—raise pygmy goats and milk them for cheese production. Their video “The Running of the Goats” went viral on YouTube and has received nearly 4 million views. You can watch it at https://youtu.be/_2_-i_cohMM or visit Postscripts online to see Hope’s goats dressed in maroon and gold for a spirit week video.
This story by Patricia Erikson was also published in the fall issue of Postscripts.