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Lee Woolman

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The Blake School


Hopkins, Minnesota 55343

United States

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Web References (13 Total References)

Park Square Theatre : Education : Educator Services [cached]

Lee Woolman The Blake School

Park Square Theatre : Education : Educator Services [cached]

Lee Woolman The Blake School

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Lee WoolmanThe Blake School

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Lee Woolman, The Blake School

The Blake School: Faculty Profiles14 [cached]

Lee WoolmanThe Blake School: Faculty Profiles14

The Blake School 1900: Challenging the mind, engaging the heart
Lee Woolman
"Teaching teenagers helps keep me young, flexible, open," says Lee Woolman, Upper School teacher of American and world literature."They question everything with delicious glee, so that class is often a marvel of simultaneous discoveries - theirs and mine."
Woolman has had plenty of discoveries in his 30 years at Northrop and Blake."Among the great rewards of teaching is witnessing high school students realizing, after reading some story or novel, that long-held beliefs are not necessarily correct," he says.Woolman is currently leading his sophomores in reading Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience.""The course's essential understanding is that Americans tend to hold complex and often contradictory values on such issues as power, freedom, success," he explains.
The class has already studied Emerson's "Self Reliance," and class discussions challenge students to understand and be responsible for their values and actions."Both writers stress the importance of honesty and self-awareness in facing moral dilemmas," says Woolman.
This message is very relevant to teenagers."All of us face small and large moral dilemmas daily," notes Woolman.
"In the book, O'Brien laments that he didn't practice making those hard choices more often as a young person, so that when he had to face going to Vietnam, he didn't have the courage not to go," says Woolman.
Helping students develop an aesthetic sense of language use -- that how something is said does matter in conveying a what, is very rewarding for Woolman.He feels that the key to students' development of a personal voice is extensive outside reading."It exposes students to the myriad ways of composing.They need to see that there are countless ways to express feelings and ideas, and they need to foster their own ways given the sense of freedom that such wide reading can indicate," he says.
Not surprisingly, reading is a favorite pastime for Woolman.
Woolman also enjoys going to movies, attending cultural activities such as plays and concerts, and visiting museums; he doesn't watch television.In addition, Woolman is an active volunteer.He spends one day a week at Children's Hospital, and is involved with the teacher advisory board at Park Square Theatre, where he writes study guides for the students who attend plays; he recently completed the guide for the current production of "Master Class."He and his family also like to travel, "as time and money allow."Lee and his wife Jan have spent their entire working career together, starting as teaching assistants in the American Studies program at the University of Minnesota and continuing at Northrop and Blake.Jan teaches an oral history seminar and classes on social psychology and on modern America at the Upper School.Together, they coordinate the Philip Otis Environmental Writers Program.
The couple has two children; their daughter graduated from Minnehaha Academy (Woolman notes her soccer team never lost to Blake) and the University of Wisconsin.

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