Carine Thompson: A Pandemic Introduction to SHS

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Contributed Photo

Carine Thompson, an avid traveler, has enjoyed her first few months at SHS in spite of the abnormal circumstances.

During the atypical beginning of the 2020 school year, many Scarsdale High School students and staff have found themselves relying on their community for support. Students’ friends and teachers have made this difficult time into an easier one, and even most of the freshmen, who are new to SHS, have had each other for support. 

However, not everyone at SHS came into this school year with familiar faces for comfort. Carine Thompson, a history teacher, is a brand new addition to the SHS staff. Before working at SHS, Thompson worked at New Rochelle High School. She had thought about applying to be an SHS teacher before the pandemic began, but ended up applying at the beginning of COVID-19. When Thompson began thinking about coming to Scarsdale, she probably imagined that her first year here would be wildly different.

That said, teaching is not new to Thompson; she has known that she wanted to be a teacher since her junior year of college. When Thompson was asked if she remembers the moment she knew that teaching was what she wanted to do, she instantly responded, clearly remembering the moment vividly. Thompson recounted that when she was an organizer of a youth leadership conference in college, she felt such “a sense of… maternal affection or concern for the students, that [she] knew [she] wanted to be a teacher.” She explained that she decided to teach history because of her own negative tenth-grade history class experience. Thompson also noted that she liked English, literature, and grammar too, but chose to teach history over teaching English. “People are less inclined to like history than English, so I wanted to choose a subject that I thought I could make interesting to students,” she stated.

Thompson seems to have done that effectively so far at SHS. Jedd Frydman ’23 remarked, “I can tell that Ms. Thompson cares about her students… Ms. Thompson wants to be more than just a teacher, and I appreciate that.” Hadley Schwall ’23 noted that she “like[s] when Ms. Thompson asks [the class] to tell her something good about [their] day at the beginning of every class period.” Schwall also said she is grateful for the fact that Thompson ensures that everyone is involved in class discussions. Thompson said that she likes “interacting with young people and having fun,” which her students appear to notice. 

I like to learn from the students. I like the fact that it’s both a learning and teaching experience at the same time.”

— Carine Thompson

Thompson feels that she gets a lot out of teaching. “I like to learn from the students. I like the fact that it’s both a learning and teaching experience at the same time.”

She explained that in her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and in particular, going on hikes, as well as traveling. “I like going to different places… and visiting places that are really beautiful… like Arizona, Iceland, and Hawaii.” However, Thompson does not limit her travel to faraway places, as she enjoys visiting various sites in New York City, such as museums.

While this school year has been difficult, Thompson’s arrival at SHS appears to be a bright spot for many.