The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Rampson Steps Up

Library Assistant Eric Rampson serves as second semester English teacher
Senior+Benjamin+Kagan+poses+with+Eric+Rampson+during+a+meeting+between+The+Weekly+Editors-in-Chief+and+faculty+advisors.+
Photo credit: Benjamin Kagan
Senior Benjamin Kagan poses with Eric Rampson during a meeting between “The Weekly” Editors-in-Chief and faculty advisors.

Eric Rampson is not a stranger to Parker. The eight years of working as a library assistant speak to his experience in both the school environment and with the student body. However, at the start of second semester, Rampson left his usual post in the library to fill room 476 as a temporary English teacher. It was here he became a constant figure in the lives of the students in his B, C, D, and F period English courses.

“My first job out of college, my first real job, was as an editor in educational publishing. I was the project manager and editor,” he said. “I actually went back to grad school, and I went back to grad school for writing –– fiction writing –– and got my MFA. And then when I got done with that, I was both writing on the creative side, but then also starting to pick up as many gigs as I could get teaching writing, and providing workshops, services, editing, basic coaching and guidance.” Without being entirely aware of the path he was following, Rampson had become very well versed in the subject of English.
A large part of Rampson’s success as a teacher is his outlook on how and what he wants his students to take away from him and his classes. “The first day of classes with all the classes and teaching, I wanted to make it clear that what I’m interested in is not me telling you what the answer is. I’m interested in hearing what you think the answer is and pushing you to tell me why,” he said.

Many people recognize certain classrooms –– such as the room of Rampson’s fellow English teacher Mike Mahany –– as ‘comfort rooms.’ Sudents will often come into these rooms before class starts or on their own time for no reason other than that they enjoy being in the classroom and with their teacher. For C period English specifically, students will often arrive to class around 5 minutes before passing period even starts, hanging out and discussing details of their lives with Rampson and their peers.

Jade Labkon is a freshman in Rampson’s C period English class. “He’s very easy to talk to about anything, especially things in English [class] so I always feel like it 100% has a level of comfort to it,” she said. “I feel like it’s a very open atmosphere and people can come in whenever they want to.”

 Rampson said that the method of students drawing and explaining their own conclusions and lessons “requires feeling safe and comfortable in the space. It also requires genuine listening on everybody’s part. And, I love to have my door open and have students in here doing stupid things or talking about things.” He is intentional with how he leads his classes and how his students view him as a result.

His teachings and presence will be greatly missed in room 476.

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