Welcome to Nancy Barile's Classroom

By Nancy Barile on August 2, 2010
  • Grades: 9–12

I've been teaching high school English at Revere High School for fifteen years. Revere is an urban school district a few miles north of Boston. Approximately 65% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Forty-six languages are spoken by our students, who are Salvadorian, Bosnian, Albanian, Moroccan, Colombian, Brazilian, and Italian, to name a few.

I was thirty-five when I got my first teaching job, after spending several uninspired years as a paralegal. Since that time, I have become a National Board certified teacher and earned my certificate of advanced graduate study. I teach in the Graduate School of Education at Emmanuel College, my alma mater, and am a member of the National Commission on Writing and the Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education's Knowledge and Skills of Professional Teaching Project Family and Engagement Subcommittee. I am also the College Board regional council member from Massachusetts.

My philosophy of teaching is grounded in the belief that all students can achieve at the highest level. My goal is to promote academic excellence for all students. Despite the many obstacles to some students’ learning, I refuse to accept failure or mediocrity. Rather, I try to encourage, support, challenge, motivate, and inspire students. My philosophy embodies many of the fundamental aims of teaching, such as providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students and fostering an atmosphere where critical thinking, problem solving, and understanding take place. I believe humor can facilitate learning, help with classroom management, and make the learning experience more enjoyable.

My strength is in motivating students  I want to make learning cool. Whether it's the most hardened gang member or the valedictorian in my AP Literature class, my expectations are that each student realize his/her potential. After a year in my classroom, my students, many of whom deal with social problems such as drug- and alcohol-addicted or absentee parents, poverty, violence, and language issues, recognize that no obstacle is too large and that their resiliency will carry them through any difficult situation. I recognize that all learning does not take place in my classroom and encourage my students to seek out new learning experiences by recommending books, classes at colleges, seminars, workshops, and cultural events. I am advisor to the Culture Club, the Future Teachers Club, and the literary magazine. 

I strive to make sure students are able to connect to what they are learning, and I try to bring a contemporary context to my English classroom, through journal writing, music, artwork, and pop culture. For one of my favorite assignments, which I call "Old School/New School," students compare and contrast "old school" poetry written before 1980 with poetry or song lyrics from the contemporary world. The works of Philip Larkin and Nine Inch Nails actually have more in common than you think!

Comments

Wow, Samong!!!! Your email made my day! So fabulous to hear from you and to learn that you are doing SO WELL. I am so proud of you. I remember your class like it was YESTERDAY. Boy, we did have fun. And yes, you were ALWAYS smart, and I knew you would succeed in life. I think I had heard that you are living in Idaho? I think it is fantastic that you are working with kids - they need someone like you in their lives. I will expect a friend request from you on FB so that we can keep in touch! ~ Nancy

Hi Miss Barile!

I'm a former student of yours from a long time ago. I graduated in the class of '99 from RHS. I stumbled upon your page from a link posted on Facebook by a student who was in the same English class as me when I had it. I just wanted to tell you Thanks! You were definitely a great teacher. I wanted to email you and tell you about a significant experience I had with you that still impacts me this day, but since I couldn't find an email address, I will just post it on this. I had just turned in an assignment that was really late, and in the hallway, you told me something along the lines of, no matter what anyone says or don't let anyone tell you otherwise, "you are a good kid!". For some reason, that has stuck with me. Part of it was what you said, but the bigger part was the way you said it, and your sincerity. I believed you, and it felt very good. Again, thank you for that moment. Since then, I've tried to look for the good in people, and show them the same unconditional love you had for me, and for many other students. I received my Masters Degree in Social Work and currently work at an agency called Children's Supportive Services where I am a psychotherapist. I love my job, and I love working with these kids.

You really have the best ideas on classroom management. You have a wealth of information. I will constantly check to learn something new from you. Thanks so much.

We need more dedicated teachers like yourself. Its so difficult to keep kids focused, but sounds like you are doing a wonderful job! keep up the good work!

Excellent Bio, Nancy! I can truly appreciate a teacher with this amount of vision, compassion, focus, and sense of mission.

Keep up the good work, Like I know you do!

Thanks, Mary! I'm going to try to keep it interesting!!

I look forward to reading how you nurture the student writers in your classroom--how they find their voices and communicate about important issues in their lives. It sounds as if you give them room to shape and craft their ideas. Write on!

Thanks, Greg! And without you, I would have never known about the Big Yellow School Bus grant!

The greatest gift a teacher can give is a love of learning. Nancy delivers that to young people who face enormous challenges through her own passion for literature and writing, her sense of humor, and her commitment to the art of teaching.

You are such an inspiring teacher, your students must love you!!!

Thanks, Jenny! I would have LOVED having Christian in my class!

Wow! I wish that more teachers in the USA demonstrated this kind of motivation and LOVE of kids. Nancy's way of doing things is so evolved and also so full of love and understanding. I hope REVERE knows what a gem they have!!!!! I would put my child in her class if I lived in MA!!!!!!!

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