Julie Fine has taught English at Darlington since 2010 and also coaches Middle School basketball and cheerleading. She holds a B.A. in English from Berry College and an M.Ed. with Certification in Secondary English Education from the University of Georgia. Fine has also taught speech and drama at Darlington. She and her husband, Derek, live on campus, and she is a member of the Thornwood House duty staff.
How did you start teaching at Darlington?
After finishing my master's at UGA, I was looking for an opportunity to teach back home in Rome. Being a native Roman, I was familiar with Darlington and the unique environment that it offers students. The chance to teach in a school whose mission is to help students learn and grow as unique individuals was extremely attractive to me.
As a Thornwood House duty teacher, do you feel like you have more insight on how students learn since you see it at a Lower and Upper School level?
Having the opportunity to live in the dorm and work with Upper School students is something my family and I cherish. We love being able to connect with students from all over the world on a daily basis. As a fifth-grade teacher, I think living in the dorm allows me understand what my current students are working toward and, consequently, helps me prepare them better.
What is your favorite part of your curriculum?
Reading! I absolutely love reading aloud to my students. Right now we’re reading a great book called "The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963" by Christopher Paul Walker Curtis. Most days, I get to spend 20 to 30 minutes reading aloud and talking about what we’re reading. Since the novel is set during the American civil rights movement, we also spend a lot of time learning about and discussing that part of our country’s history. Opening students’ eyes to a part of history they don’t know a lot about is a privilege and something I enjoy very much!
What are your aspirations in your teaching career?
I would love to learn more about the process of teaching someone to read so that I can better help students who struggle with reading. Being able to read and read well is a gift that many of us take for granted. I want to be able to extend that gift to every student who comes through my class so that each student may fully experience and enjoy the world that is opened to us through the written word.