Teaching and Residential Life at IMSA: Insight with Bonny Sucherman

Affectionately called Bon-Bon by her fellow C-wingers in 1503, Ms. Bonny Sucherman recently shared her thoughts on her current position as an English teacher alongside her original duties as a residential counselor. As a student under her wing, I was naturally curious about how she juggles both aspects in her career.

First off, how did you get interested in teaching?

[laughs] This is really cliché, but I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. When I was a kid, I used to always play teacher instead of house. My decision solidified during college when I took an upper teaching level and had the opportunity to co-teach an AP English class at a high school. After that, I knew for sure that teaching is what I wanted to do.

How did you get the opportunity to teach a class while also being an RC at IMSA?

Principal Lawrence told me there was an opening to teach two sections of Dr. Madon’s Modern Theater class for the time being. He asked if I was interested in teaching because he knew of my background.

What is your background?

I received a double major from Beloit College in secondary education and English. Throughout my education, I really enjoyed taking a variety of theater classes. I was especially heavily involved in theater for social action, a style of theatrical pieces that focused on the oppressed. It originates from Peru.

How are you adjusting to this new aspect of your career?

It’s fine…[laughs] It is a bit challenging to manage my time, though. I have an 8:00 AM class and at the same time, I might have an RC shift until midnight. There are also new expectations for me, different from the ones being an RC.

What’s the difference between leading a class from a wing—personality, authority?

Well, in a classroom, the expectations are clear. Students understand and expect the role of a teacher so it was easy to step into. The expectations as a teacher are clear, as well, and I behave accordingly. Leading a wing is definitely more casual. I can interact with the students through casual one-on-one check-ins. It’s always different, too. I act based upon the needs of each individual.

Did your perspective change of the IMSA students in any way from seeing them in a classroom setting versus the residential halls?

My perspective didn’t change much. The main difference I noticed was that though some of the students might be outgoing in the halls, they were more reserved in class.

To close, do you have any goals for the rest of the quarter?

I really enjoyed getting to know kids across campus through my classes and want to continue these interactions. I hope that this will prompt me to get into other halls and have a wider visibility across campus.

Photo Credit: Irina Wirjan ’15

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