A Sneak Peak Into the Busy Life of Ms. Ryan

Photo+by+Aki+Gaythwaite.

Photo by Aki Gaythwaite.

Ms. Ryan is one of the school’s new additions to the Tut House English department. Having just moved to New York, she’s giving a fresh perspective on preparing and educating UNIS students for the IB curriculum – all while growing students’ appreciation for English literature.

Our interview began in one of the many connected English classrooms – one with a view of the tree and concrete courtyard. Ms. Ryan is immediately recognizable by her undeniably optimistic and enthusiastic personality. She starts with a brief narration of her life. She first realized that creative writing and teaching was her calling after a summer program in which she “led a creative writing class [for high schoolers].” Ms. Ryan’s educational career is quite extensive, having attended Swarthmore College, studying Honor’s English literature and history.

After graduation, she attended the University of Pennsylvania grad school of education. Each year since, she’s been attending a summer program at Middlebury in order to gain a master’s in English Literature. This experience helped her create classes full of “educational research, helping students be reflective and curious”. Last year she was in Oxford and decided to take a class called “Page to Stage.”

So far, Ms. Ryan loves the UNIS’ diversity and the students’ candor in talking about difficult, contemporary subjects. She confidently says, “I’m so impressed with the students. It’s really amazing. When I ask for homework assignments everyone always goes above and beyond. They’re so dedicated.”

For her, both the city and UNIS make this job unique on the international-school circuit. When asked about her favorite aspects of NYC, she responds with “Oh, I love New York. I really love the food, and I love theater – I just love going to see the shows.” Her adoration of the city’s food is a trait that many UNIS staff and students relate to.

Ms. Ryan wholeheartedly believes in preserving the healthy minds of the youth. She exclaims, “I’m always happy to support students with any of the heavy workload.” She continues describing how she herself plans to help IB students manage stress. She adds, “I’m learning more about mindfulness – that’s why I do focus writing at the beginning of classes. This helps students become more present and it helps them to reflect on what has happened during the day.” For her, research doesn’t lie, and sleep is the number one thing students can do to manage their anxiety levels.

We conclude the interview with her aspirations, as she hopes to publish ongoing writing projects in the future and maybe open a writing center to help develop students’ talents and passions.