The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

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The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

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A Pre-Retirement Interview with Dr. Doucette


 Dr.Doucette is the English Language Arts content coordinator here and he is now retiring after working at SBRHS for 13 years here. Dr.Doucette has done a lot for the school and has taught many people about his knowledge and is leaving an amazing mark behind. He is insanely wise and an amazing person and it was an honor having him here with us. After having this interview with Dr.Doucette I really connected with everything he was saying and this just increased my love for English. I thought it was really important that everyone got to learn and know a little bit more about Dr.Doucette before he retires. He has said that his time here at SBRHS has been absolutely wonderful and he loves all his colleagues and everything about this school. So let’s see what else Dr.Doucette has to say in this interview.   

How long have you been teaching for?

   I was a teacher for 13 years here but 52 years overall. From the 52 years about 10 of those years I was an educator teaching teachers and I did a lot of work on what we call professional development with a lot of districts in the East Bay of Rhode Island. I was also a professional development person in this school, so 42 years of actual teaching and 10 years of consulting and professional development. 

What inspired you to become an English Language Arts content coordinator and teacher? 

   I would say that I have always loved English. In high school I loved English but I went to college as a math major. I decided while I was in college that I really wanted to go back to English. So I started studying English at my college and never looked back.

Why does ELA mean to you and was there a reason why you specifically chose the subject english?

   Well I love to read and I like to read a lot of different things. My favorite things to read are biographies, science fiction, and fantasy. But I will read anything that I will get my hands on. 

What is your favorite genre to read?

   I just love to read everything and I’m looking forward to retiring so I can do more reading. 

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to go into the English field in the future? 

   The field is changing, for example if you are someone who is involved in journalism a lot of people are working remotely and so becoming familiar with technology and using technology is probably a good idea. But I also think that the most important thing is to just pay attention to what’s going on in the world. Look out there and find something interesting and do some research on that. So research skills are really important in doing any kind of writing whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. If you want to be a journalist in particular, pay attention to what’s going on around you.

If you had to choose another career path except for the one you have now, what would it be?

    A would be a musician because I once was a musician. I always had two careers going at one time, so I was a professional singer and I did a lot of other work. I did light opera, opera, and concert work. I loved it but it was a lot of work and it took a lot of energy to be a performing artist, but I still loved it.

Who is your favorite author and why?

   There are so many. I would say that Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of my favorite authors and he was a romantic writer in the mid 1800s. He wrote a lot about things around him and he was from Salem, Massachusetts. He wrote a lot about topics that were important in this area of the world. He wrote about things that took place in Salem like his novel “The Scarlet Letter”. I like his ideas of puritanism and the conflict created by puritanism and its strict religious philosophy. The plots were very interesting and very modern. He was very deep in the way he perceived people and in his characters. A modern author I love is Joyce Carol Oates and she is very modern but she dealt with the dark side and I like people who are willing to write about things that often don’t get talked about. I also like Terry Brooks and he was very interesting and he wrote romantic stuff and he even wrote 28 books in a series. He wrote things like what it means to be a hero and magic and using magic to defeat evil.

What is your favorite memory while teaching and being here at SBRHS? 

   There was this one time where I had a level one sophomore class and I was trying to teach things that I liked and thought that they would like as well. I asked them what they enjoyed and ultimately together we created a whole unit on fairytales and literature. At the time there was a show called “Once upon a time” and it was based on an envisioning of various fairy tales. They helped me develop this unit and we all loved it. So that’s an important memory, letting students be a part of the process and for them to think about things that would be interesting to them. That changed the way I looked at teaching and I wanted students to be more involved. I also have another memory where students loved movies and I created a unit on movies and so I did the hero’s journey through movies such as “The Lord of the Rings”. Those were some of my favorite memories.

What is something that you are looking forward to after retirement? 

  Reading but also I happen to have 3 granddaughters who are all starting college in the fall and they are starting college in three different places and I think it’s time for me and my wife to make a road trip. So I want to spend more time with my grandchildren after retirement.



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