Faculty Highlight: Steven Rookwood, Second Grade

For more than 230 years, Friends School’s educational journey has equally emphasized the mastery of content with the mastery of essential skills required to succeed in the world - skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and empathy - to name a few. Meet some of our outstanding faculty who guide our students through this journey each and every day.

Steven Rookwood, Second Grade Homeroom Teacher, Second Grade Coordinator, New Faculty Mentor
M.Ed., Goucher College, B.A., Notre Dame of Maryland University
At Friends since 2003

Q. Why did you choose Friends and/or what do you love about teaching at Friends?

A. I have been teaching at Friends School for almost 20 years and I have loved every minute of it! This is a place where I feel loved and challenged. The students are bright, enthusiastic, and insightful learners. They are world-changers who care about others and are excited to do their part to make the world a better place for everyone. I am always fascinated by their passion to dig deeper to get a clearer picture of the world around them. I also work with a wonderful group of colleagues who value diversity and who show great appreciation for my cultural background. The most amazing thing about my colleagues is that they make collaboration an integral part of the teaching/learning experience which enriches the daily lives of the students as well as the employees. 

Q. What do you love about teaching second grade in particular?

A. Second grade is an amazing year to teach. The students are becoming independent learners and discovering a lot of new things about themselves. They are figuring out different ways to do things and different strategies to solve problems. I am always impressed by how they are better able to articulate how they feel about things and better able to explain the strategies they use to solve a problem. Second graders are still excited about learning and are still excited to build a strong connection with their teachers. 

Q. How do the lower school curriculum and teaching at Friends School prepare students to be successful?

A. The lower school curriculum is based on Quaker principles which focus on developing strong character through positive interpersonal relationships. The curriculum is challenging. It helps our students build confidence, resilience, and perseverance through curiosity, exploration, and a deep understanding that they learn from mistakes. The curriculum fosters the development of the whole child which prepares the students to embrace challenges and work through frustrations to adapt to the demands of a changing world. 

Q. Tell us something fun about you - a motto or hobby, perhaps?

A. I have had a great passion for teaching since I was a young child. It came to me naturally and brings joy to my life so I can’t imagine doing any other career. My motto is if you do your best, you will always succeed. I love garlic and my second graders find that hilarious!