Felix Qin ‘22 never expected to become a teacher directly after college. However, in light of his teaching experiences, professors, and classes at Haverford, the classical culture and society major was inspired to become a humanities teacher at Fusion Academy in nearby Ardmore, PA. He has worked at the accredited private school, which provides one-on-one lessons only, since this past March.
“My main responsibility is to teach and mentor students from grade 6 to 12, both in person and virtually,” Qin said. He teaches a myriad of subjects, including history, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Latin to students. He also provides mentorship on independent studies on topics including women’s studies, civics, and Roman history.
Qin’s experiences at Haverford were essential in leading him to his position as a teacher.
“Prior to starting my job at Fusion, I had only ‘taught’ as a peer tutor at the OAR and as a TA for ‘Elementary Latin,’” he said. “Those two experiences allowed me to see my strengths and weaknesses, especially when I was or was not able to explain something well to a student.”
Qin also explained that the thoughtful approach to teaching taken by Haverford professors has influenced his own lesson planning and teaching styles. He often considers in-class activities that he experienced as a Haverford student, and adapts them into his own personal lesson plans.
“Building positive relationships with professors was a huge part of my Haverford experience, and so I often reflect on my relationships with my students and try my best to guide and support them in every possible way,” he said.
Those professors who influenced Qin’s academic growth spanned departments, including classics, linguistics, and Japanese.
“I received some great advice from Professor [Matthew] Farmer and Professor [Ava] Shirazi for my mock lesson interview. I learned about [Emeritus] Professor [Deborah] Roberts’ experience when she first began teaching and picked up some fun teaching tricks from her during our coffee chat after I was hired,” he said.
Qin recalled teaching the process of “chunking” sentences (or dividing them into groups of connected words in order to make comprehension easier) to his first Latin student in the same way that Associate Professor Bret Mulligan taught him in his ‘Elementary Latin’ class. Similarly, the creative writing he did for his “Confronting Monsters and Giants” and “Animals and Androids” classes with Visiting Assistant Professor Hannah Silverblank has led him to always encourage his English students to write creatively.
“Haverford really allowed me to explore my interest in languages, and I’m having a blast applying what I know about languages to my work as a teacher/mentor,” Qin said.
Qin eventually hopes to attend graduate school, and become a translation and localization specialist for technology companies, particularly those that produce video games.
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series chronicling the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.