Meet New Spartan Kyra Spence


Photograph by K Davis

Kyra Spence

Daniel Gallup sat down with Humanities teacher and supervisor for our new Writing Lab, Kyra Spence.  Here’s their conversation:

Daniel Gallup: What are you teaching this year?

Kyra Spence: I’m the new departmental teacher for the humanities which is actually a new role this year in the upper school. It’s for people new to the profession of teaching so I don’t have any of my own classes yet but I’m co teaching with multiple people. In my case Dr. Sealey and Ms. Martinez. Another big part of that role is that because of my background in English Literature and teaching writing, I’m opening the Writing Lab. That’s also a new program. It’s a supplementary resource to improve the writing of middle and upper school students.

DG: What were you doing before coming to MCDS?

KS: I actually just graduated from Barnard College in December of this past year. After graduation, I had been working as a writing tutor at an independent school outside Philadelphia, mostly working with students on long assignments like research papers, analytical expository essays for English and History and I did that for about 6 months before moving here for this position.

DG: Can you tell us about a surprising fact about yourself?

KS: I don’t know if this would come across as surprising, but I write poetry. I also love cooking. I guess they might sound boring.(chuckling)

DG: What do you consider the best and worst part about teaching?

KS:  The best part is making genuine connections with students where you feel like you’re collaborating together and reaching new levels of understanding. In whatever field, for me it’s always been writing. Helping facilitate somebody discover or realize that writing, when used effectively, is the most incredible tool. You can have so much pride in having mastery over writing. That’s so exciting to be a part of. The worst part of teaching is when nobody wants to be there. *again through chuckles* Everybody has a lot of work, a lot on their plates, a lot of homework, a lot of planning for classes — teachers and students alike. So just when the energy is less about the love of being in school.

DG:  Is there anything you’d want students to know about you?

KS: That I want to make sure that everybody feels like they can write to the best of their ability. I think everybody has the capability to be an incredible writer and thinker in the humanities and that’s why I want to teach. To help everybody realize that. Also I want them to know to come to the writing lab!

(To anyone interested in getting the grade you really want on any paper, check out the Writing Lab!  Just come into the library during lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s the room right behind the desk as you walk in. You can drop in and bring any piece of writing. Ms. Spence will help you through any issues you are having and help you get the grade you want!)