Member of the TPP Alumni Council
Bess Li, GS '87
In 2010-11 Andrew Assini '03 began teaching World History to seventh graders in Flemington, NJ. He has also taught US I to eighth graders over the past six years. His class is mostly discussion based with numerous Socratic seminars and debates, combined with a lot of writing. Andrew aspires to ensure every lesson has a real world connection that encourages students to think critically about society and their world. Detecting bias and understanding the significance of race, gender and propaganda are some of the core themes he has woven into class.
Andrew believes there is nothing quite like pushing a thirteen or fourteen year old beyond what they or their parents could ever imagine. Watching their confidence rise, along with their awareness of the world around them, magnifies the reward. He started out as an idealist who believed in maintaining a civically engaged public via strong educational institutions, and despite the daily frustrations outside of the classroom still is confident in his mission and the potential of the young men and women he teaches. His belief in his students is often rewarded by seeing students grasp concepts that most adults fail to understand, or via former students contacting or coming in to speak about political issues or questions they have about various topics covered in class. Andrew feels blessed to have so many students stay in touch and learn about his influence on their worldview.
In his first seven years in the classroom, Andrew has learned that teachers need to have an extensive amount of tools to successfully navigate the never-ending challenges encountered every day, as well as the importance of being reflective, accepting criticism, and working with fellow dedicated educators. TPP events have helped Andrew to tackle difficult topics in the classroom and refocused energy towards positive ends. Although frustrated numerous times by administrative decisions or apathetic colleagues, he finds that TPP always presents refreshing opportunities to engage with other dedicated educators. Completing his MA in History and learning strategies outside of his comfort zone have also helped recharge Andrew’s batteries and has brought the passion he loves to use in the classroom to connect with his students.
In September 2014, Anderw and Cindy Assini hosted a teacher from Humboldt University in Berlin Germany.