Megan Baskin, Fine Arts Department


What is your name and department? Megan Baskin and I’m in the fine arts department

Did you teach at any other school or is North your first? No, I taught at two other schools previously

How would you describe the way you teach? It’s different every time for every class because it’s really based on the students. Like I have skills that I want them to get but then based on the people that are in front of me. We might need a little more time in one area and a little less time in another and they might need me to come at it from a different angle so it’s as organic as I can possibly make it and with as much student input.

What are some fun things you do in your classes? I think everything is fun. We do all sorts of things, you get a chance to do things you don’t normally do, We get to do scenes about things you don’t normally talk about in school. Depending upon what we’re doing we might bring in props, and costume pieces and go explore the grid and other spaces. Putting together a production is one of my highest level classes but not the highest level, just doing scenes and improving work and playing games that actually teach this skill that we then can pull in. So every single thing we do, even if it doesn’t seem academic it all relates. Even on days, we might need to take a break and have a conversation, all of that helps build an ensemble, which is a skill that we need.

Who or what inspires you every day? Doing good for other people is what I live by. That is my core value, doing good for others, whatever that good is and whatever that is they need. Not to sound cheesy but my students do inspire me because whatever they bring, whatever they’re working with is what I have to play with that day. And whatever is coming up for them is the important thing and I think about how I can make good with that.

What would you like to see more of at north? I certainly would love to see more respect for the arts. We have a huge arts program and the opportunities in music, choir, visual art, theater, whatever it is we do incredible work at our school and I think sometimes that is underrepresented. Having that representation school-wide and having respect on all ends of the building, not just in our own group but having great respect for everything that everyone does in the building. It’s hard and no matter what it is, that hard work, that dedication, that creativity, exists in so many different areas. So I think something I would always love to see more of with the arts but also with each other.

What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now? I’ve worked really hard to get where I am right now and I hope that I continue to lead a thriving and happy program. I’d love to still be here.

What is the most meaningful thing you own? Am I allowed to say my cat? Well, my cat’s pretty awesome, pets are amazing but I don’t know. I like experiences more than I like things.

What is a valuable thing you’d tell a new teacher? Everything is an opportunity, everything you have is an opportunity. Even all of your mistakes, because there will always be mistakes, mistakes are only mistakes if you don’t learn anything from them. Even those hard days where you think you’ve ruined everything, well how can you come back the next day and turn that into something that is an opportunity? Whether that’s like a lesson that didn’t really go well alright cool, go to your class with your students and go over it like hey that didn’t go great can we try over? They learn that modeling too. It’s not about you being perfect and you being perfect all the time. It’s about turning everything into an opportunity for more connection, more engagement, and a deeper understanding. Sometimes that understanding is not always about what’s in the curriculum but that understanding about life, the world, and humanity. That’s important too. Our students aren’t always going to remember the facts and the details but they are going to remember what it means to be a person in this space you create for them. And that to me is honoring that and honoring everyone to be the best they are is really the biggest thing you can do as a teacher in high school.

What’s your best memory of teaching at North so far? That is hard but I would say in general it’s typically seeing someone do something that they never thought that they could never be able to do. That no matter when it is, no matter what happens or what it’s about. Whether that’s a theater workshop student that was terrified to speak in public but then they volunteer at the end of the semester, that’s amazing. Or whether that’s seeing a student audition for a show and get in and then fall in love with theater or closing a show that was really important to them. All of those moments are the best for me, like truthfully. Because that’s why I do what I do and seeing that moment when they’ve done something that they never thought they could do, that’s the best, that moment however it happens whenever it happens because everyone is going to have their own best. So that’s my thing.