Teacher Highlight: English Teacher Kieth Demers

Keith Demers may be new to the district, but his teaching history goes back ten years and beyond. He initially discovered his love for teaching when he was in graduate school at Saint Bonaventure University in Western New York. He worked in finance and then publishing before he decided to officially launch his teaching career at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, teaching middle school and high school English. After working as a long term substitute teacher in Reading and Malden last year, he landed in the Winthrop School District. Armed with a master’s degree in English, Demers is fit to teach his current students about the importance of communication.

Why is English Your Subject of Choice?

Although I was initially a philosophy major in college, I ended up taking so many English Literature classes that I added that as a major as well. I teach English, because out of all of the disciplines, I believe that English provides a well-rounded education necessary for maturing young adults to be successful in whatever endeavors they may pursue upon matriculation from high school. From a grammatical standpoint, English provides students with the ability to successfully communicate with others both verbally and through writing. Mastery of these skills is important to future success whether a student goes on to college or joins the workforce. These skills also prepare students to articulate a point of view and advocate for themselves, which, again, is a necessary tool in all aspects of life beyond high school. Moreover, from a literary point of view, I believe that exposure to world class literature broadens a student’s understanding of the world and fosters empathy and an understanding of others. The act of reading literally forces one to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, whether through a narrator of a work, or a character therein. 

What Do You Love Most About Teaching?

After spending many years working in “the real world” in a cubical, I enjoy the discourse and relationships I have made with my students. I joke that a day can’t be all that bad if it’s spent talking about Hemingway, Keats, or Shakespeare. As I’m sure many teachers will tell you, there is nothing greater than watching the light bulb go on over a student’s head when they grasp a complicated concept or come to mastery of a difficult problem.

Who Inspired you to Become a Teacher?

I was probably inspired the most, by one of my high school English teachers, Mr. Guevremont. I attended Mt. St. Charles Academy, and was lucky enough to take three years of English under his instruction. He was the first teacher to ever show me that literature is more than just what’s on the surface, and that there is a whole other language utilized by writers through figurative writing, and that a true reading of a work is akin to solving a puzzle. This really resonated with me. That and the fact that many of our great writers were iconoclasts, rebels, rogues, and scoundrels. This was also enlightening to me as a young man.

What Do You Love About Teaching In Winthrop? 

Everyone here has been extremely helpful and welcoming, and the students have been very receptive, cordial, and courteous so far.

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