Many of you know him, whether it be from having him as a teacher in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, Environmental Science or from being on the annual ski trip and going down the mountain with him. Scott Woodruff was named Teacher of the Year for 2017, and he definitely deserves it. While Mr. Woodruff is a very modest man, he appreciates everything the nomination means for him.
When asked about his feelings in regards to receiving this honor, Woodruff stated that he was, “Mostly surprised, a little proud, and somewhat uncomfortable,” due to the fact he was now responsible for representing the other outstanding educators teaching in the school district. He believes that teachers are, “like our students, each with our own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities,” and that his teaching style is unique to him. It wouldn’t be fair to assume that his teaching style would work for another teacher in the building, such as his habit of leaving the students to their own devices to figure out an experiment or seemingly impossible science phenomenon. He is different and a great teacher in a way that’s all his own.
Teaching, to some, might be considered too challenging. Woodruff, however, loves teaching. He loves watching generation after generation interact with each other and watching kids learn how to do things they thought impossible. He stated, “Every teacher gets an emotional boost when students have what we call ‘lightbulb’ moments.” Teaching is never the same. It can’t be repetitive and the students won’t all have the same reaction to an experience or concept. “Every day and every class is different,” he said. He has a few hilarious stories from his 32 years at LHS. “Students put a beaker on my desk to collect money for a tux rental. I promised to take Mrs.Woodruff [to the Junior Prom] and they insisted that I wear a tux.” It’s a life that never gets dull.
One of the best things about him is he grew up in Connecticut. He spent his childhood in Groton, (so he’s practically a local!), went to Fitch for his high school years, and then decided to go to UCONN. Once it was time for his student teaching experience, he came to Ledyard and never looked back.
Woodruff also enjoys spending time with his students outside of school, preferably on a mountain. When he first started at LHS, he helped Kurt Jannke with the ski trip. Woodruff believes it’s the “most exhilarating sport that [he has] ever done.” He enjoys the nature and the adrenaline rush, but most of all he enjoys being with the kids outside of a classroom setting.
Many students rely on teachers they enjoy or feel comfortable around for advice. When asked if he had any advice for students, Woodruff had a simple philosophy for them: “Be yourself and do your best.” He then clarifies that doing your best doesn’t mean pulling all-nighters and doing every piece of extra credit you can get your hands on to get the highest GPA and best resumé.
Woodruff believes in balance. There is always a happy medium: do your homework, find a good study technique for tests and quizzes, and always ask for help when you need it. That is precisely what teachers are there for, they are there to teach you something. “Great teachers can motivate, inspire and guide students,” Woodruff stated. So let that be Mr. Woodruff’s message to you all. Be yourself, do your best, and congratulate him for his achievement.
Julia Bennett, Staff Writer
Junior Julia Bennett is a staff writer for the 2017-2018 Colonel. She is a coffee and Italian food addict and can be found swooning over all things Teen Wolf, even though British TV is clearly superior because “english accents are to die for!”