Faculty Profile: Campbell Ainsworth

Campbell Ainsworth and Linda D’Arco
Did you know that Campbell has lived in Zambia and taught in Sri Lanka? Learn more about the interesting perspectives that he brings to the World Langauage Department at WMS in part two of our faculty profiles series.

Campbell Ainsworth:

From: Chicago, Illinois

Years at WMS: 6

Home on campus: I live with my wife, Juliette and our two children, Faustine and Luca. We have a dog, Mocha, and two cats – Simba and Captain Lucky (born on campus 15 years ago!). We live in Carriage House, between Carter and Burroughs dormitories.

Degrees earned:
Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University, MAT in ESL and Bilingual Education,
University of Illinois, BA in French and Political Science

Where were you working before you came to WMS?
I taught ESL for two years in a Sri Lankan village as a Peace Corps volunteer. I taught all subjects to immigrant students at a public middle school outside of Washington D.C for three years. After the tsunami in 2005, I returned to Sri Lanka and worked for six months at a refugee camp. I also taught Spanish, French, and ESL in Boulder, Colorado, South Korea and Zambia.

Why did you choose The White Mountain School?
After two years living in Zambia, I was looking all over for a job. I had never before worked in a boarding school. At first I was a little hesitant because I thought boarding schools were for either rich kids or “bad” kids. When I interviewed here, however, I realized that this was not the case. I was impressed that WMS was the only school that had a student interview me. I liked how welcoming the community was towards my family, and it has been a wonderful place for my children to grow up.

What are your roles at WMS?
French and Spanish teacher, head of the World Language Department, Lower Burroughs dorm parent, Farm/Forest coach, advisor

Why do you love working in education?
I decided to become a teacher after my volunteer work for two years in Sri Lanka as a youth project coordinator and teacher at a village school. I had always thought that I wanted to work in the field of international relations and influence policy decisions, but I realized that grassroots development and working directly with children was infinitely more rewarding. I enjoyed how every day was dynamic and I found that I was good at thinking quickly on my feet and adapting to different students’ needs. I loved participating in the intellectual and emotional development of students and sharing their curiosity and enthusiasm as we learned from each other. I have never felt that teaching is a “job” as I have always looked forward to seeing my students every day.

What makes you curious outside of school responsibilities?
I love to read, play guitar, travel, watch Cubs games, and beat my kids at board games.

What have you learned from WMS students?
I appreciate getting to know the students here in so many different contexts and not just as a student/teacher relationship. WMS students have consistently impressed me with their ability to be successful and keep a lively sense of humor while juggling so many different tasks, all while going through the ‘growing pains’ of adolescence.

Describe a particularly memorable experience with WMS students.
It was an amazing experience to go to France with a few students who had never before left the country, and had previously held an “America first” world view. To see their jaws drop as they immersed themselves in the new culture, and then to hear how their perspective and outlook changed during their two weeks in France, was very rewarding.

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