Co-teaching duo thrives in Staples’ newest course

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Photo by Maria Krug ’22

Catherine Schager and Rebecca Marsick: the iconic duo co-teaching Staples’ newest class, African American/Black & Puerto Rican/Latino studies.

Maria Krug ’22, Paper Arts Editor

Imagine being able to teach a high school class on a subject you love with your best friend. You work together everyday, brainstorming ideas and coming up with lessons for the class. Well, that is the case for teachers Catherine Schager and Rebecca Marsick.

The inseparable duo first met each other eight years ago when Marsick first came to work at Staples as an English teacher; Schager already worked at the school as a history teacher. Soon, Marsick transitioned into a literacy coach working with all departments to help develop lessons. This foreshadowed the tight bond between Marsick and Schager.

 “She started coming into Honors U.S. and helping me with National History Day and class texts,” Schager said. “So that’s the type of stuff we started doing together and then we just became best friends.” 

When the new American/ Black and Puerto Rican/Latino studies class was presented at Staples, the two of them were eager to work together and co-teach the class.

 “When this course came up, Cathy had to teach it and clearly I was going to attach myself to it, so we decided to teach it together,” Marsick said. 

An important part of Schager’s method of teaching is bringing in other educators to her class in order to expand her students’ knowledge. Being able to have multiple perspectives on topics is a key factor to her lesson plans.
“I think it’s important for students to see that when learning it’s important to hear not only from me but from other people and what they have to bring to the equation,” Schager said. “And that’s when Marsick first came in and now here we are teaching a class together.”

This duo has spent a lot of time together working and co-teaching, they highlight the importance of being honest with one another.

 “If either of us have an idea, we have to be able to communicate and say either I like this or I don’t and just be completely honest, or else it wont work,” Marick said.
Co-teaching a class isn’t necessarily an easy task; both teachers have to be in sync and have some sort of relationship. 

 “She’s able to do things that I can’t because she’s a full time literacy coach so we both help each other out in different aspects,” Schager said. “She always teaches me new things.”

These two teachers hope that in the future there are more classes that can be co-taught so that different perspectives are included in the classroom, and different ideas are shared between teachers and students.

Lena Pantzos ’22 has had Schager as a teacher in previous years, but the new classroom dynamic with her and Marsick has impressed Pantzos. 

“They have the teaching dynamic of two best friends that love what they do,” Pantzos said. “They are so passionate about the class so they are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other, they give each other feedback on lesson ideas and ask us our opinions in order to make sure we’re actively learning and actually enjoy the material we’re studying.”

They have the teaching dynamic of two best friends that love what they do. They are so passionate about the class so they are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other, they give each other feedback on lesson ideas and ask us our opinions in order to make sure we’re actively learning and actually enjoy the material we’re studying.”

— Lena Pantzos '22

 Schager and Marsick are thankful for the opportunity they were given to be able to co-teach a class that they are passionate about, and hope to continue doing so for as long as they can. 

“We are just epic nerds who take our nerdiness everywhere possible together,” Schager said.