Talking doesn’t sound like a secret recipe for anything, but for Logan Goodwin ’13 M.A.T. ’14 it’s fundamental to everything he does as a teacher or coach. If you are one of his students or athletes, you and Mr. Goodwin are going to get to know each other.
“I like being able to talk to every kid every day,” he says. “We do talk about school, but we talk about other things as well. They know I’m their teacher, but they know they can talk to me. If there’s a problem, I’m going to do my best to get them the help that they need.
“They’re students, but more importantly they are people. It’s important for them to know that I care about them. To get their best, they need to know this.”
After graduating from Earlham’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, Goodwin began teaching social studies at Hibberd Intermediate School, where he also coaches two academic teams and the girls basketball team. He is also an assistant track coach at Richmond High School.
Goodwin thrives in the work.
“It’s fun to teach them skills and then to persist with them through the things they struggle with,” he says. But teaching, he insists, is about more than delivering content. He works hard to establish relationships with his students and relationships between his students.
“I know they are learning content,” he says, “but there are bigger pieces. I want them to develop their own beliefs and make accurate assessments about the world around them. I hope they learn how to communicate when they agree and when they disagree. I hope they understand that the world is a big place with people who are different.”
Goodwin uses project-based learning and aims for a classroom environment that’s positive and approachable.
“I want my classroom to be a place where you can make mistakes and learn from them,” he says. “I want it to be a place of communication and respect where we hold each other accountable.”
A bonus for Goodwin is that Earlham’s M.A.T. program is nearby, and that he is able to remain involved with the program. He regularly gives talks to M.A.T. students, and this past year he had his first full-time student teacher. He also continues to use the program to make his teaching more effective.
“It’s a great benefit to still work with the M.A.T. program,” he says. “I continue to use it as a resource, and it’s great to have that support. It helps me help the kids.”
Goodwin says gains are being made in educating Richmond’s youth both across the school district and in his building, where five other teachers are Earlham M.A.T. grads.
“A lot of people are working to make Richmond a better place, and they’re making a difference,” he says. “Their efforts continue to improve Richmond by creating more opportunities for kids and their families.”