A 2013 graduate of Earlham's M.A.T. program, Camilla Fulvi ’12 finds that dystopian literature spurs critical thinking.
Fulvi’s favorite teaching moments happen when students transition from concrete to figurative thinking because of a book. They come to class with a realization and “either think they’re the first person ever to realize it or they feel like they’ve unlocked the secret that the author put there just for them.”
She got to experience a lot of those moments during a unit on Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. The books sparked interesting discussion among Fulvi’s students and she saw them begin to think critically, if somewhat conspiratorially.
“They began to wonder if the government was hiding information from us! That wasn’t my ultimate goal in teaching those but it showed that they were applying what they were reading,” Fulvi says.
Even though Fulvi laughed about how conspiratorial her class became, she also liked that they started questioning things.
“That’s definitely one of my goals as a teacher.”
Another goal of Fulvi’s is building relationships through humor and lightheartedness. She feels that building relationships is one of her strong suits. While she recognizes that a lot of teachers can say that, she also recognizes that each teacher does it differently depending on their teaching style.
Another strength of Fulvi’s is follow-through. After her first day of kindergarten, Fulvi decided she wanted to be a teacher. Looking back she says, “I don’t know if it was nature or nurture, but it stuck.”
She worked toward that goal through high school, applying for internships that gave her a lot of teaching experience. Her perseverance continued as she applied to college and became the first college graduate in her family.
“I picked Earlham because of the M.A.T. program.”
After getting a job right out of the program and enjoying her first year of teaching, Fulvi has no regrets about her decision.
“The only program I have seen that consistently produces good teachers is Earlham’s M.A.T.”
Fulvi loves teaching English.
“I want to open up that door of meaning in books for kids.” Her students are definitely finding it in the books she assigns, and in the lighthearted atmosphere of her classroom.