Mount Alvernia Academy Fourth Grade teacher, Mr. Christopher Doyle, felt that much sought after “click” when he visited MAA for the first time four years ago. “When I came for my interview, I immediately knew I was in the right place,” he remembered. “I really connected with the people who interviewed me, and Fourth Grade has always been my favorite grade to teach.”
Mr. Doyle loves teaching Fourth Grade because he enjoys the challenge of shepherding his students through such a dynamic time in their educational journeys. “Fourth Grade is a transition time. When my students arrive in September, they are still Third Graders and when they leave in June, they are basically Fifth Graders,” he said. The big changes necessitate a variety of lessons to help students work through them. “We learn to be accountable for our work, our words, and how we treat others. Students this age are very curious about the world,” he exclaimed. “The two things about this age group I enjoy most are those ‘a-ha!’ moments they get when they suddenly understand something and their willingness to help their classmates,” he continued.
Mr. Doyle works hard to cultivate that curiosity through leveraging technology in the classroom. Along with fellow Fourth Grade teacher, Mrs. Marisa Caruso, his students participate in a cultural exchange program run by the JDO Foundation. Mr. Doyle’s class corresponds weekly with fellow Fourth Graders in Ireland, learning about their day-to-day lives and how they are at once so similar and so different. Mr. Doyle loves watching his students discover a new culture and learn how to communicate their own.
Teaching has always come naturally to Mr. Doyle, who truly cannot remember wanting to be anything but a teacher. “I think I always knew I would be a teacher. I remember being six or seven years old and teaching a classroom of stuffed animals,” he laughed. Even decades later, Mr. Doyle has not lost his drive to share and help others broaden their horizons. For him, MAA provides a unique environment where students are encouraged to grow intellectually and spiritually. “I love that we put Jesus first. Starting the day with prayer is so important. Teaching at MAA allows me to share my faith and help students grow closer to God,” he smiled. We are lucky that Mr. Doyle walked through our front doors four years ago and became a part of the MAA family.