Albert Einstein said, “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” This encapsulates the teaching philosophy of Mr. Shawn Duffy, social studies teacher at Kennett High School.
Mr. Duffy received his teaching degree from West Chester University, where he studied secondary education and social studies with a concentration in history. He teaches several classes, including an eleventh year American Studies class focusing on the 20th century, a twelfth year honors economics class, an Advanced Placement macroeconomics class for twelfth grade students, and a large seminar-style course for eleventh and twelfth grade students co-taught with English teacher Ms. Christine Wilson, focusing on the historical perspective and literature of the 1960s.
Mr. Duffy has taught in the District for his entire teaching career, beginning with his collegiate field work. He even did his student teaching at Kennett High School.
“It was all by design,” said Mr. Duffy. “I always knew that I wanted to teach at Kennett High School. I saw the people who worked here and the students and I knew this was where I wanted to be.” He has had many great mentors and said that made “all the difference” for him as a new teacher.
While Mr. Duffy enjoys many aspects of his position, his students come first. “Before anything else, my position requires me to teach my students the skills and content they may need for success in any future endeavor they choose to pursue,” says Mr. Duffy. “We have the best kids. I look forward to and feel lucky getting to spend time with them every day.”
Mr. Duffy’s admiration also extends to the Kennett High School faculty he works with every day. “The truth is that I enjoy getting a chance to work with so many people who are not only excellent teachers but good people, too. I learn a lot of how to be a better teacher from seeing what they do.”
Along with teaching, Mr. Duffy assists library media specialist Mrs. Lisa Teixeira in advising the Humanitarian Club. This club runs several charitable drives throughout the year, along with leading the Mini THON event held at Kennett High School. He also serves as the adviser for the Finance Club, which began last year for students who are interested in personal and institutional investing opportunities. He also took learning beyond the classroom and treated his students to a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Duffy has lived in Kennett Square for almost 25 years with his wife and two daughters, who also attended school in the District. His oldest daughter, Bridget, graduated from Kennett High School in 2016 and is currently attending Boston University; his youngest daughter, Erin, is currently a senior.
When he’s not teaching, Mr. Duffy enjoys spending times with his family, following local sports teams, and reading. “A perfect day would be spend lying on the beach reading from dawn to dusk.”