This year, Sturgis East would like to welcome Ms. Emily Lambdin, our newest History teacher, to the Sturgis community! I was able to catch up with Ms. Lambdin and ask her a few questions about her path towards becoming a teacher at Sturgis. Based on her responses, it’s clear that her dynamic personality will add to our unique teaching department.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and where you came from?
I grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut and graduated from New Canaan High School.
I went to Bowdoin College and graduated with a Major in History and a Minor in Art History. I competed on the Bowdoin Track and Field Team for 3 years as a pole vaulter. My senior year of college I joined the Bowdoin Ultimate Frisbee Team. After years of intensive athletics, I really enjoyed the frisbee team because it was very inclusive and emphasized what you brought to the team in terms of character and personality more than your athletic ability (a lot like Sturgis athletics).
While in college I interned for the Bowdoin Art History Department. In this role, I assisted multiple professors with their academic research and helped with the digital curation of art history materials. I also volunteered every week for an art therapy non-profit called ArtVan. ArtVan provides free community art therapy for youth in low-resource communities in Maine. I loved this experience because I got to witness how art can be a source of healing and expression.
I spent a semester studying abroad at the Stockholm School of Economics in Stockholm, Sweden. There, I did comparative studies of the United States and Sweden, focusing on the criminal justice systems and treatment of gender in the two societies. I also studied architecture in Sweden, examining how Swedish functionalism impacts its architecture and art.
After graduating from Bowdoin, I worked at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont as an Outdoor Education Instructor. In this role I led hikes and teambuilding activities, and I worked on a high ropes course. I also used the outdoors and the environment in Vermont to teach natural history and ecology in a hands-on way.
2. How did you first hear about Sturgis?
I learned about Sturgis at an international schools job fair.
3. Have you ever been involved in an IB school before? If not, how has your experience been so far?
I have never been involved in an IB school before. So far, I am really impressed by the IB. I think it teaches incredible critical analysis skills. Skills such as the ability to discern what the content of different sources is, what perspective the author is coming from, and how reliable or valuable a source is to us - are very important. These skills help us be creative and original. They also ensure that we know what news we can trust and what we must challenge. It is amazing that these skills are being taught at the high school level since most high schools only focus on memorizing massive amounts of information.
4. What inspired you to teach history?
I believe that teaching history is about teaching empathy. While I want my students to learn historical content, I also want them to learn how to care about people who are very different from themselves. I think it is often easier to see the injustice of events that took place in the past than in the present. If students learn about mistakes our country, businesses, and fellow individuals have made in the past that have created social injustice, they will hopefully be more likely to prevent those mistakes from repeating themselves in the present and future. In addition, we cannot fully understand our present societal issues without understanding our past. We live in an incredibly complex and dynamic society. It is important that we study history in order to understand why our day-to-day experience is exactly the way it is.
5. Do you have any unique hobbies outside of school?
Outside of school I love to spend time outdoors. I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and skiing. I stay active by running and doing yoga. I have run two half-marathons in the last 4 months. I also enjoy longboarding. I still play in a couple of ultimate frisbee tournaments each year.
6. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I am most looking forward to forming strong connections with Sturgis students.
The entire Sturgis StormWatch staff would like to wish Ms. Emily Lambdin the best as she begins a new phase in her career at Sturgis. We are certainly looking forward to having her on board!