The Spoke (T.S.): What inspired you to be an English teacher? Lauren Nordsiek (L.N.): My love of literature. After high school and college, I didn’t want to stop discussing literature every day. The obvious choice was to follow my passion.
T.S.: If you were to write a book, what would it be about? L.N.: I think it would be interesting to write a book that explores the type of literature that has become popular in the last decade or so after 9/11 and the recession. As a society, we seem focused on “doom and gloom” and that appears in the literature we read.
T.S.: If you weren’t an English teacher, what could you see yourself doing? L.N.: Had I been born with more of a science brain, I think I would have enjoyed being a veterinarian.
T.S.: What is your favorite thing about teaching English? L.N.: I really like the chance to hear different opinions of different students. I can teach the same books three years in a row, and it will always be different because I’ll be teaching different kids.
Band: Regina Spektor
Song: “Imagine” by John Lennon
Book: “The Blithedale Romance” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Suess
Vacation spot: Jersey Shore
Punctuation mark: Semicolon
T.S.: How long have you been teaching? L.N.: This is my third year at Conestoga. Before this, I taught for a little bit at Lower Merion.
T.S.: What are your hobbies? L.N.: I like to read, cook and I’m involved in animal rescue. I used to volunteer at the Main Line Animal Rescue and I took care of the animals, washed them, taught them obedience and helped make them appealing and adoptable.
T.S.: Who is one of your role models and why? L.N.: My high school AP English teacher in junior year helped create the spark and was part of the reason I became a teacher.
T.S.: What is the most difficult part of being an English teacher? L.N.: Making sure you’re able to reach every student every day.
Lavi Ben-Dor/The SPOKE
T.S.: If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be and why? L.N.: Toni Morrison, an author; Ralph Waldo Emerson, a philosopher; and Fiona Apple, a singer. It’s a bizarre group, so it would be interesting. They are three people who have inspired me in terms of literature and music.
T.S.: Why did you become involved in Anti-Defamation League (ADL)?
L.N.: [I became involved] because I had been a part of something like it at Lower Merion. The opportunity presented itself to me, and I was excited to make Conestoga an open place. I wanted to discuss bullying and bigotry and other topics that need to be discussed and worked through.
T.S.: What is ADL’s mission and why do you think it is important to the school? L.N.: ADL’s mission, locally and nationally, is to stop defamation of certain groups. It began to prevent defamation against Jewish people, but it spread to all types of bigotry. It helps students get through tough stuff here and we work with ADL Philadelphia to work on a national scale.
T.S.: What is the purpose of ADL classroom visits? L.N.: The classroom visits are for the freshmen coming in to Conestoga. They start off a discussion of ‘Let’s make [Conestoga] a friendly and accepting environment.’ They’re the next generation, and they’re becoming the next leaders.
T.S.: Why do you feel passionate about ADL, personally? L.N.: I think I get to work with some of the best kids in school. It has an important mission, especially with bullying. Every school needs an ADL to try to instill change into high school environments.