Moynihan fosters a welcoming classroom environment


Alena Ruhstaller

Moynihan’s classroom creates a lighthearted and open aura.

Alena Ruhstaller, Managing Editor

Starting this 2018-19 school year, a fresh face has entered the teaching staff of the Biotechnology Institute of Carlmont High School (BTI).

After teaching seventh-grade history at Ralston Middle School for five years, Lindsey Moynihan now aspires to apply a scientific aspect to Modern European History and U.S. History for tenth and eleventh graders in the BTI program.

“BTI Modern European History takes off where we left off in seventh grade, which is around the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. In BTI U.S. History, are currently reviewing colonial times, the Constitution Era, and Westward Expansion until we get into the Civil War and the Reconstruction, which we will examine with more detail,” Moynihan said. “We cover all aspects of history, but we spend more time on the scientific aspect emphasize its significance.”

Moynihan’s lessons and teaching techniques within her history classes intertwines with the mission of the BTI program.

“We are prepping the tenth graders in BTI Modern European History to make their own research projects by teaching them how to cite works, find accurate sources, and how to write a research paper,” Moynihan said. “We are also getting the eleventh graders in BTI U.S. History for their career mentorships. Each student gets a mentor that they can shadow at their job so they can get a hands-on experience for a career that they may be interested in.”

In addition to instructing the subject of history, Moynihan also aims to create a personal relationship with each individual student.

“One thing that I’m doing this year that I’ve never done before is scheduling a ten-minute meeting with all my students. During our meetings, I ask students to tell me about themselves and discuss their interests. We talk about a few topics that are exceptionally exciting for them, which allows me to get to know my students better,” Moynihan said. “Building one-on-one relationships with my students open a wider door for us to trust and have faith in each other.”

Through Moynihan’s effort to create bonds with her students and love for history, students are able to absorb all the content while enjoying the class.

“The class [BTI U.S. History] is very discussion-based, and Ms. Moynihan is always willing to answer any questions and continues any discussions that form even if they set back her plans for the day,” Mackenzi Rauls, a junior, said. “She always answers our questions with depth and clarity. She’s also really invested in her students and making sure that they have a safe learning environment and a trusted adult to go to.”

The biggest difference between high school and middle school students is the level of independence that students have and their ability to freely express themselves in a way where they’re not as worried about the judgment of their peers versus when they’re in middle school.”

— Moynihan

Moynihan’s teaching style also permits students to learn more about each other as a class.

“Ms. Moynihan’s class will allow me to learn an abundance of the history of our country, but it’ll also let me get to know a lot about of the other students in my class that I didn’t know much about before,” Chloe Stanks, a junior, said.

Above all, Moynihan hopes that her students will benefit the most they can from her class.

“I’m not only here to simply teach my students the facts of history, but I’m also here to give them skills that they can use in college or whatever work environment the end up in,” Moynihan said. “Other than that, I want to support them in being more well-rounded human beings.”