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  • Haarrathi Kanna and Ellice Lim

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Metviner!

Ms. Metviner is an English teacher here at EHS. She taught at Edgemont from 2000 to 2005; then, she moved to Israel and taught at an international school for 17 years. Now, she has returned to Edgemont to teach 9th, 11th, and 12th grade English. 


Ms. Metviner’s favorite subject was always English. Her 11th-grade English teacher back in high school inspired her to become an English teacher herself. She helped Ms. Metviner look at literature from different perspectives in a new way, different from what she had learned before. In college, Ms. Metviner majored in Literature and Rhetoric. After college, she worked at the MoMA bookstore and Penguin Publishers before pursuing her Master's in English Education. She said, “Once I started teaching, it was a natural fit for me. I love helping inspire my students to love literature and recognize the power of language.”


Since Ms. Metviner taught in Edgemont many years ago, we asked her about differences she has noticed between 2005 and now. She said that technology has changed a lot, especially since now every classroom has a Promethean board. 


Ms. Metviner mentioned that living and teaching in Israel was even more different. Ms. Metviner describes Israel as a “live-in-the-moment” type of society. She liked how the people there are very spontaneous and social and says that the general feeling you get from the place is warm and hospitable. The weather is much warmer and sunny there. She says living in America is unlike Israel because society here is much more predictable and orderly. In some ways, she saw such consistency as a good thing, but she enjoyed the different experiences Israel offered. She also confided that cold New York weather also takes some getting used to.


Ms. Metviner taught at an international school in Israel, similar to and different from Edgemont. She enjoyed the cultural diversity that the international school harbored. Many kids there were trilingual, speaking Hebrew, Arabic, and English. As unique as it was to teach children from all over the world, it was also difficult, at times, for Ms. Metviner, especially if English was not a student's first language. Even when it was hard to communicate, she loved having the new perspective these students presented to her. In the end, she said, “Kids are kids, and teenagers are teenagers,” so some things were not all that different. 


One thing Ms. Metviner had to get used to once she came back to America was something we do every day: driving in her car. In Israel, she would often travel by bike or foot to get around, and before she had her son, she rode a Vespa! She lived in Tel Aviv, taking frequent walks to the beach and camping in the desert with friends. 


Her favorite things about English class remain constant no matter what country she is in. She loves diving into the details of literature and seeing the power language, techniques, and stories can have. She enjoys helping her students make connections between the stories and the people in their own lives. She says she loves how every day of teaching comes with funny and happy moments and memories. 


Ms. Metviner wants her students to be open-minded and to try to enjoy learning about literature and language. She encourages them to learn and have a growth mindset. She added that, in Israel, students, of course, cared about grades but did not allow scores to consume their lives. She understands the pressure of grades and how stressful it can be but hopes she can encourage the “live-in-the-present” mentality she observed in Israel in the classes she teaches today. She wishes for her students to appreciate English and take it as a learning experience. 


The last thing we asked of Ms. Metviner was to name her favorite book. One of her favorite books is Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. She says it is a "lovely, life-affirming" book about a boy who finds his way through hardships, and she admires how it captures the joy of life.

Ms. Metviner currently lives in Hastings and enjoys baking, playing with her 6-year-old son, and taking long walks outside. We are so happy to have her back in Edgemont!

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