Teaching for Life

Becca Good holds a frog for her students

For a recent field trip to Dickinson, Becca Good '04 (center) brought her students into one of the biology labs, where they got some face time with frogs, turtles and snakes. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

by Tony Moore 

Becca Honig Good ’04 spends her days wrangling kids, both in and out of her busy second-grade classroom at Carlisle’s Mooreland Elementary. The psychology major never saw a teaching career coming, but shaping the future through her students has turned out to be what drives her both professionally and personally. Read on to see how Good's classroom atmosphere is similar to Dickinson's, what being a mom and a teacher means to her and what deceased Carlisle institution holds a special place in her heart.

How did you choose Dickinson?

After I was accepted to both Dickinson and Villanova, my dad and I went on tours of both colleges. At Villanova, everyone we passed kept to themselves and seemed in a hurry. No one stopped to talk to us or help us, even when we got lost on campus.

On our way home, we took a tour of Dickinson. As soon as I stepped foot on campus, everyone was so friendly. Random students kept stopping to say hello or ask if we needed help finding a certain building. Everyone had said that when I found the college that was right for me, I would just know it, and I did.

Can you speak to how Dickinson’s “useful education” might apply to your career?

I never thought I wanted to be a teacher, but it seemed as though it was almost predetermined, and if I had really dug deep, I would have known all along. I sometimes wish I would have been an education major, but I am ultimately glad for the psychology background. It has helped me to look at my students from a different perspective than I would have otherwise.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love connecting with a student and parents on a personal level. I love becoming part of their life the same way they become part of mine. I love that the most important part of my job isn't teaching the curriculum but teaching these kids how to be lifelong learners, how to find their passions and how to question the world around them.

What was your favorite activity at Dickinson?

Springfest! I still get reminiscent when I see it all set up on Morgan Field. It was always such a fun day outside with friends, listening to music and having fun playing games. It also signified the end to another great year.

When you weren’t hitting the books, how did you like to spend your time in Carlisle?

Ha! On the dance floor at Fast Eddie's (RIP)!

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be?

This person isn’t famous, and it’s actually two people, but it would be both my grandfathers. My maternal grandfather died when I was in high school, and he was always the patriarch of our family. I would want him to meet my husband and play with my girls.

My paternal grandfather passed away two days after my first daughter was born, so I wasn’t able to go to his funeral. He was such a driving force in my life, a mentor and provider. I feel like I never truly appreciated him while he was alive. I would love to see him again, let him meet his great-granddaughters and ask him if he’s proud of my accomplishments.

And what accomplishment are you most proud of today?

Usually just getting through the day in one piece! Being a mom and a teacher, I always feel pulled in so many directions. So at the end of the day, when my students have learned something new and leave wanting to come back, when my children are fed and go to bed happy, when my house isn't a total disaster and I am still sane, smiling and looking forward to the next day, well … I feel like that’s a pretty big accomplishment!

You just built a time machine: where and when do you go?

Even though I’m loving life in the present, assuming I could come back, I would go to August 2000—the year I started college. How much fun would it be to do it all over again?!

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Published May 22, 2014