Along with 12 other educators, Terrence Foushee was welcomed to Northwood this past week as a part of the school’s new teaching staff. Foushee, an English teacher, is looking forward to the upcoming school year.
“I just see a lot of positive energy and well behaved students that speak to you, which is something that I can really appreciate,” Foushee said.
Though Foushee is new to Northwood and new to teaching in a classroom setting, he is not new to working with youth and has prior experience teaching poetry. Foushee discovered his love for working with youth while working with organizations like AmeriCorps and the Sacrificial Poets.. While he was a part of AmeriCorps, Foushee participated in the Summer of Service project in 2009. Summer of Service is a three-week program where mentors work with inner city youth and teach them the importance of service work. It was during this time that Foushee found a deeper love for working with children.
Foushee has also been a part of the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit organization in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. There, Foushee was able to express his love for helping people. He helped rebuild houses from the inside out for victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike. Getting to meet families who experienced such a tragedy had a lasting impact on Foushee, and the experience was very meaningful to him.
Along with service projects, helping others and mentoring the youth, Foushee participated in poetry slams throughout high school and after college. While involved in poetry, Foushee taught kids how to write and express themselves through spoken word, a form of poetry.
“I think that a lot of teens are misunderstood and misrepresented, and that when you get to write slam poems, spoken word about yourself, you get to break down all of the stereotypes that people try to place on you, and you get to be your own person,” Foushee said.
Foushee is a part of the Sacrificial Poets, an organization in North Carolina that performs, teaches and encourages poetry among school children.
“What I love about spoken word and the Sacrificial Poet is that we create safe places for youth to tell their stories,” Foushee said.
These varied community services, from building houses and mentoring children to creating poetry, Foushee realized that he could become a teacher.
“English and spoken word kind of mash together, so why not be an English teacher?” Foushee said.
One of Foushee’s favorite parts of teaching, whether it be in the classroom at Northwood or somewhere teaching kids how to do good for others and write about themselves, is the moment a student reaches a breakthrough.
“Seeing students have that breakthrough moment where they discover something about themselves through writing about themselves [is so rewarding],” Foushee said, “It’s very therapeutic.”
– By Riley Wolfgang