June 10, 2003 - Exeter News-Letter: India RPCV Peter Clark retiring after 34 years in Classroom

Peace Corps Online: Directory: India: Peace Corps India: The Peace Corps in India: June 10, 2003 - Exeter News-Letter: India RPCV Peter Clark retiring after 34 years in Classroom

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - 5:57 pm: Edit Post

India RPCV Peter Clark retiring after 34 years in Classroom





Read and comment on this story from the Exeter News-Letter on India RPCV Peter Clark who is retiring after 34 years as a the math teacher at Exeter High School. "I try to encourage students to become responsible learners and know that they are the ones that carry the grades with them," says Clark. "They do have to put the time into the subject to what theyíre doing. Determination carries into life; you donít get the rewards by sitting back and doing nothing." Read the story at:

Teacher Ďmoves oní after 34 years*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



Teacher Ďmoves oní after 34 years

BY RACHEL GRACE TOUSSAINT

newsletter@seacoastonline.com

EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Thirty-four years of teaching has been quite an education for Peter Clark.

But one thing the math teacher at Exeter High School carried with him from Day 1 is a philosophy of hard work and dedication.

In describing his professional philosophy, Clark finds a quote from author E.M. Forster especially apt: "Spoon-feeding teaches nothing but the shape of the spoon."

"I try to encourage students to become responsible learners and know that they are the ones that carry the grades with them," says Clark. "They do have to put the time into the subject to what theyíre doing. Determination carries into life; you donít get the rewards by sitting back and doing nothing."

By raising the bar for his students, Clark helps many youths realize that they could indeed excel in math, and heís enjoyed seeing those results. Yet, this will be his last year opening his students up to the world of mathematics. Clark is retiring from his teaching post this month at age 62.

The time has come, he says, to move on.

"Iím going to treat my first year like a sabbatical, doing projects around the house and volunteer work (at Portsmouth Regional Hospital)," says Clark. "And whatever else comes up, Iíll be ready to jump into."

Traveling isnít on Clarkís to-do list; heís already been around the world three times, thanks to his three years of service in the Peace Corps.

An Exeter native, Clark is an alumnus of Philips Exeter Academy. He then went on to Cornell University and majored in economics.



Caption: "After graduating, I wasnít ready for pinstripe suits and corporate America. I joined the Peace Corps and worked in India in irrigation development for three years. It seemed like a good thing, to be of service."

"It was back in Kennedyís time," says Clark. "After graduating, I wasnít ready for pinstripe suits and corporate America. I joined the Peace Corps and worked in India in irrigation development for three years. It seemed like a good thing, to be of service."

Clark stumbled into the education field after returning from the Peace Corps. He started off doing fund-raising at Phillips Exeter, and then learned that they needed math teachers in Hooksett. After becoming teacher certified at the University of New Hampshire, he taught there for one year before the job at EHS opened up, along with ice hockey and track coaching positions.

For eight years, Clark coached both sports and found that he fell into teaching with relative ease. He served as Math Department head for three years and summer school director for eight years.

"Education is part of our family, anyway. So I was used to the educational environment," says Clark.

But there were some surprises along the way.

"There are an awful lot of factors that keep you young, like just being with the kids," says Clark. "I look back on it, and it has kept me feeling young. Itís also a valuable service to provide society with education."

Through the years, Clark has taught all levels of math from basic, general math to precalculus. Heís enjoyed working with numbers and seeing where students have difficulty and assisting them in improving their skills.

"I enjoy being with the students," says Clark. "Every class period is different; the subject is same, but (the) situation in which (it is) being taught always changes."

Clark has also been struck by his fellow co-workers and how theyíve touched the students in their own, particular ways. "Iíve enjoyed the changing that takes place in kids - I like to see them grow," says Clark. "Itís amazing how grown up they can become in such a short time. But I have to get out before I start teaching some of my former studentsí grandkids."

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