The Fun Has Begun with Rathbun

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The Fun Has Begun with Rathbun

New English teacher Marney Rathbun.

New English teacher Marney Rathbun.

Emily Weinstein

New English teacher Marney Rathbun.

Emily Weinstein

Emily Weinstein

New English teacher Marney Rathbun.

The Online Polyglot’s first Middle School contributing writer introduces us to new Middle School teacher Marney Rathbun.

Marney Rathbun, Poly’s new eighth grade English teacher, is as warm and compassionate as they come, welcoming all of her students with open arms.

Although she has only been part of the Poly community for a matter of months, Rathbun has made a big impact on her students by making sure they feel comfortable both in and out of the classroom. Her classes are always entertaining, and her students are always laughing.  Rathbun’s kindness and warmth has spread school-wide, reaching everyone from students to staff.

Growing up in Cape Cod, Rathbun enjoyed going to the beach daily. Until eighth grade, she went to public school, where her teacher saw potential in her and advocated for her to attend Falmouth Academy. She was accepted and offered an incredible scholarship. Looking back on it, Rathbun has deemed the Academy her favorite place and could see herself running the academy when she is older.

Rathbun moved to New York for graduate school, and her life at Poly differs greatly from her previous experiences. Growing up with limited wealth, Rathbun has worked tirelessly for much of her life. From landscaping to modelling, she worked 70 hours a week before being offered a job at Poly. Although she enjoyed these experiences, they were exhausting and she is delighted that her life has become more mellow. In her spare time she adores taking care of her hamster, Tatiana, with her roommate, cooking, going Upstate with her partner, running, and singing. She revealed that, with enough petition signatures, she is willing to sing for her students at the end of the year.

Initially drawn to Poly because they were hiring younger teachers, Rathbun said she now loves the school because the environment reminds her of her childhood. “I loved something about being on a campus that was not in the city and far away,” she said.

Graduating with a Masters Degree, she had been simultaneously teaching undergrad for a couple years but she was drawn to teach high school and middle school. Furthermore, the school was ripe for opportunities like being able to start the middle school division of GSA; she felt like it was a responsibility to be at a school and change it. She also humorously added that the free lunch didn’t hurt. Se still believes, however, that there is room for improvement. She suggests more could be done for advocating on behalf of students and their needs, such as including a commitment to supporting gender diversity. She is a strong voice for all those who are still trying to find their own.

When asked what she adores the most about her job, Rathbun admitted that it was her students with no hesitation. She enjoys working alongside those who are funny and intellectual while admiring those who are quiet and express their thoughts in alternative ways. Occasionally, she confessed, she has to struggle to maintain a straight face because of amusing remarks her students make.

In the future Rathbun would like to continue teaching, then eventually open a homeless shelter that accommodates families. Her father was homeless, and Rathbun grew up in and out of shelters. “I have a real commitment to creating spaces for homeless people to make art and live in a way that isn’t scammed,” she said.      

Through her many accomplishments, one that especially stands out is raising her sister through high school. She is immensely proud of the woman her sister is becoming. Furthermore, she is also content that she made the life she wanted through her own determination and perseverance. Marney Rathbun is a role model to all, and even though her life had a shadow cast in it, she still brought out the light and uses it everyday to brighten the lives of everyone around her.