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Why I Teach: Dr. Lowell Combs

Upper School Science Teacher

2 years teaching, 3 years tutoring at Country Day
BS, Davidson College; PhD, University of Georgia

Why did you become a teacher?

Over the course of my high school career, the teachers who had the most impact on me were the ones that had a true passion and love for the subjects they taught. As I was making the decision to become a teacher, I knew I had this intense passion and love for biology and genetics, and I wanted to share that with young people. Now that I’ve been doing this for two years, I have found that what really drives me is not only sharing my passion but interacting with my students. I come back here every single day because of the interactions I get to have with my students in the classroom, the fact that I get to know them inside and out of the classroom, and the fact that I’m surrounded by amazing colleagues who support me and let me learn from them  and their expertise. 

How do you position students for future success?

Mentorship during this formative high school time is important to us as a community  at Country Day and to me personally. I primarily teach freshmen, so I have the  opportunity to not only teach my students biology but also help them cultivate skills that will position them for success later as they move through high school and college.  Skills like time management, healthy study habits, and healthy reading comprehension  habits are almost more important to me to impart to my students as we move through  the actual science content. That said, seeing a student have an “aha moment” in class is probably one of the most rewarding things a teacher can experience. Witnessing them make a connection across the curriculum and put the pieces together is truly one of the best experiences.

What do you like about teaching freshmen?

They are just plain fun. They have great questions, awesome insights, and they’re willing to engage with their teachers. I try to find a connection with each one of my students and figure out what interests them. Is it the football team you root for on the weekend? Is it the horseback riding you do outside of school? Whatever it may be,  I know that making these connections with my students will make them more comfortable in the classroom. 

I am incredibly lucky to be able to teach at Country Day because I get to come to work excited about what I’m about to do. I look forward to seeing my students in the classroom, and I look forward to hearing about how their afternoons, evenings, and weekends went. I genuinely look forward to coming to work every single day.