In the many years Mr. Woods has been a part of Latin, he has not only been quintessential to the learning of students within their English classes, he has also shaped the lives of everyone in the Latin community through his infectious laugh and kind smile.
As he teaches the works of the world’s best authors, he has also taught students an abundance of life lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Olivia Patinkin, sophomore, stated, “he taught me how to always have a smile on my face and always be respectful.” Olivia, as a member of Woods’ Eastern European Literature class, continued to note how Woods handles the rigorous curriculum of her course with a smile and patience. “Mr. Woods always takes time with his students and ensures a safe and engaging environment for [them].”
Inside the classroom, Mr. Woods goes above and beyond and allows his students to form opinions and beliefs of their own. He encourages his students to think outside the box, and challenge the status quo.
Walking from class to class, it is seldom you will not hear his laugh echo in the halls. He always greets everyone with a smile, and never fails to brighten someones day. As noted by sophomore Jasper Geier, Mr. Woods is “the goat.” “[He’s] my favorite person on earth,” said another of Woods’ students, Talia Smith. It is evident Mr. Woods has made a lasting mark on the student body at Latin.
When asked what impression he wants to leave at Latin, Woods said, “I hope I have created opportunities for students think, laugh, and wonder.” Mr. Woods has indeed achieved his goal as students across the school have only high praise and love for him.
While he has shaped the lives of students, he has also created an immense impact on faculty. Ms. Jeno, Upper School math teacher noted, “When I was interviewing for the job, he and Ms. Majid, were goofing around and joking and it was hilarious. And I was like, ‘heck yeah I wanna be his friend.’ He’s a very special person.”
Even though we may not hear his laugh in the halls next year, we will always know to challenge our own ideas, laugh a little louder, and smile a little bigger.
As much as Mr. Woods has impacted the school, it has also impacted him in turn. On how Latin has changed him, Woods said, “From students to faculty, the Latin community has challenged me to be a better teacher and colleague. The community’s generosity and grace has made me a better person.”
As Mr. Woods moves on to the next chapter in his life, Latin will forever be a part of him. Mr. Woods leaves us on this note, “I have to stick with one of the best pieces of advice ever given: ‘Don’t be over-wise; fling yourself straight into life, without deliberation; don’t be afraid – the flood will bear you to the bank and set you safe on your feet again.’- Dostoevsky.”]]>