We are excited to welcome Mr. Jed Stalker to our community! He is the newest member of our Upper School Humanities team. We hope this short interview helps you get to know him before meeting him in person. We are excited to have him on board!
What will you be teaching at Covenant?
I’ll be teaching tenth and eleventh grade English Lit and History, which is American and Early Modern. This is exciting because those are more or less my two specialties in terms of literature, and the English Reformation and Civil War has always been one of my intellectual hobbies. I’m also teaching 9th grade writing and Rhetoric III (senior thesis), which will be fun. Augustine says “I have learned much by writing that I did not know before.”
When did you decide to become a teacher?
My mother and grandfather were both teachers. My brother and two brothers-in-law are both teachers. I’ve always been interested in education, and thought I’d be involved in teaching in some way. I’ve been a teacher at various levels for eight years, and it seems to me to be a meaningful way to work for the Kingdom.
What excites you most about teaching at Covenant?
I love the professionalism and the thoughtful nature of Covenant. For instance, the ideal of “The Excellent Student” on the website helped to sell me on coming to teach at the school; grounding our education in humility is a big deal.
Is there anything you’d like your future students to know about you or your classes?
We will work hard, and we will think hard about the books we read, and we will also try to enjoy the books. In a book called ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound said, “WARNING: gloom and despondency is out of place in even the most rigorous study of an art originally intended to make glad the heart of man.” Before or after class, I will happily give students advice about their fantasy football teams, but the advice will invariably be wrong.
What is one of the best books you’ve read in the past year?
Annie Dillard’s book An American Childhood was a remarkable memoir, both in content and in terms of style. It gives an astonishing account of the confusions of adolescence. Dillard can help a person become a more careful thinker, a more enthusiastic learner, and more attuned to the mysteries of religion.
Tell us about your family!
I have an excellent wife, who helps me do all the important things in life. We’ve been married almost nine years, and we even like each other a large majority of the time. We have three daughters: Beatrice is named for the agent of God’s grace in Dante, Lucy is named for CS Lewis’s youngest Pevensie, and Jane is named for the magnificent Miss Austen.
What are some things you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love running, talking about football, and reading books. My family and I like taking walks with our strollers and playing in parks. We’re involved in the local church and small groups. We look forward to getting to know many Covenant families!