60-Second Interview: Misty Jordan, Director of Residential Life

When I was growing up, I wanted to be:

A doctor or a teacher

I got into education because:

I wanted a job where I felt like I was making a difference by helping young people realize their potential.

A few words or phrases that describe my approach to teaching/ working with teenagers:

Flexibility and taking the time to know and understand your students as a person is the key to good teaching.  Really listening to them is as important as them listening to you.

I am constantly surprised by:

The creativity and resiliency of my students.  I'm also so proud of how kind they are.

Describe a student who's done well at Marvelwood:

I love to see the transformation that takes place at Marvelwood.  So many times I've witnessed a student coming in with a ton of baggage from their public school where their teachers never took time to know them and oftentimes they were completely misunderstood socially.  But at Marvelwood magic happens when students feel that the adults and other students are invested them and want the best for each other.  When this happens, students start to bloom, slowly at first, and then all of a sudden they seem like a different kid!

I know I'm reaching a student when:

I see the lightbulb go off in their head.  They get excited and all of a sudden feel proud of themselves and have the confidence to take risks and do something they've never thought they could do before.

A favorite project I've done with students:

Pretty much every show I've ever directed at Marvelwood.  The ones that stick out the most, though, are: Little Shop of Horrors, Avenue Q, She Kills Monsters, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

If I could take a trip anywhere with students, it would be to:

  1. Greece to visit the birthplace of Theatre
  2. London to show them the Globe Theatre

The best thing about raising children on a boarding school campus is:

The relationship that my children have with all of their "big brothers and sisters" here on campus.  My kids get to learn and grow with our students and I love that my students are so nurturing and kind to them!

I am currently reading:

A Column of Fire by Ken Follet, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (Did I mention how much I love to read?)

The book I'm recommending these days:

Recent books I've loved: The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, Juliet by Anne Fortier, The Other Einsten by Marie Benedict, Bossy Pants By Tina Fey, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Belgravia by Julian Fellows.  I could go on and on but these are the few I recommend since starting school this year. I have more!!

List a few ingredients of the Marvelwood 'special sauce':

Flexibility, kindness, empathy

This is what I would tell my first-year/ first-month-teaching self:

You did it!  You are at the school you've always dreamed of! You are doing great!

What I like about teaching at Marvelwood:

I love teaching the whole student. When I taught in public school it was just a glimpse of a student in a formal setting. Here I know my students inside and out of the classroom. I get to hang out with them on weekends and tell them to turn out their light at night. I am their cheerleader on the field and the stage and am constantly in awe of watching them grow and mature into amazing young adults.

What I appreciate about Marvelwood students:

Hands down, their kindness towards each other.

Three things I want my students to take away:

  1. You are good enough 
  2. You are smart enough 
  3. You can change the world if you try

When I'm not teaching, I like to:

Be with my family, read, create sea glass art, craft, and hang out on campus with students.

Misty is the Director of Residential Life and teaches theatre classes.  She and her husband, Dennis White, live in Summit Dorm with their two daughters. Misty and Dennis are the force behind the Marvelwood Players, having put on a wide variety of shows over the years. Misty organizes the annual Princess Tea Party, a fundraiser for Make a Wish.