Teacher Feature: Ms. Townsend


Sarah Allen and Neeti Reedy

Mrs. Townsend switched to teaching Physics halfway through the year, but reports she was nothing but excited to get to teach her favorite subject. She remarked that her students have been incredibly patient and helpful with the transition. Since hands-on learning is a large part of physics, she’s really excited to perform labs! There are a variety of interesting instruments and tools she and her students will get to learn from and play with.

In regards to her teaching methods, Mrs. Townsend likes to focus on the process of learning rather than the material covered, claiming it is very important to her that her students learn how to ask questions and form good learning habits. When her students are feeling unmotivated, Mrs. Townsend responds with empathy and putting herself in their shoes. She remarked that her students have been incredibly patient and helpful with the transition.

Mrs. Townsend graduated from Knox College with a double major in physics and education. Although she cherishes teaching the sciences, if Ms. Townsend could teach any other subject, it’d be choir. But when she learned that to be a choir teacher she would have to learn to play the piano, she decided she would rather learn calculus. Currently, she is teaching Chemistry and Physics at Richwoods. Mrs. Townsend has enjoyed her experience teaching at Richwoods! Due to her previous school being fairly new, she says her favorite part about Richwoods is the established traditions and identity the school has.

Being a teacher in a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics-based field, Mrs. Townsend acknowledges the importance of combating the stigma of STEM fields being predominantly men. When asked about women in STEM, Ms. Townsend replied that she believes everything that could be done is done on the high school level, however colleges and companies still need to improve. She believes these institutions need to look at and reflect on how they close off women from the field of STEM, especially women of color. Still, she remarked that at the high school level she is pleased at how many engaging teachers she has seen that ensure anyone can fall in love with STEM and pursue their passions, regardless of their gender or background.