Former student Lauren Bahedry teaches English, draws on Archer experience

Bahedry+poses+in+the+courtyard+with+her+history+teacher%2C+who+had+dressed+up+as+an+Archer+student.+Bahedry+graduated+in+the+class+of+2005+and+later+returned+to+teach+at+Archer.
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Former student Lauren Bahedry teaches English, draws on Archer experience

Bahedry poses in the courtyard with her history teacher, who had dressed up as an Archer student. Bahedry graduated in the class of 2005 and later returned to teach at Archer.

Bahedry poses in the courtyard with her history teacher, who had dressed up as an Archer student. Bahedry graduated in the class of 2005 and later returned to teach at Archer.

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Lauren Bahedry

Bahedry poses in the courtyard with her history teacher, who had dressed up as an Archer student. Bahedry graduated in the class of 2005 and later returned to teach at Archer.

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Lauren Bahedry

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Lauren Bahedry

Bahedry poses in the courtyard with her history teacher, who had dressed up as an Archer student. Bahedry graduated in the class of 2005 and later returned to teach at Archer.

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Though full bookshelves and literature-themed posters are present in many English classrooms, Lauren Bahedry’s room has other decorations that set it apart: photos of her as an Archer student. Bahedry, who graduated in 2005, is the second-ever Archer alumna to return and teach.

Bahedry credits her mother, an elementary school teacher, with inspiring her to teach. During the summers, Bahedry’s mother would bring Bahedry in to help teach lessons. She was also influenced by Brian Wogensen, her English teacher at Archer.

“I think [Wogensen] always inspired me so much… he is so willing to share his love,” Bahedry said. “He gets everyone around him excited too, and he’s so happy to be goofy about it, which I think is really cool.”

Wogensen, who still teaches at the school, said he remembers Bahedry as a “curious” and “questioning” student.

“I remember her quality of writing was really impressive, but…she kept trying to get better and better,” Wogensen said. “She was a true English scholar, even back then. You could tell that was her avenue.”

When Bahedry left for college, she talked to her classmates and found many of their former high schools had only taught texts written by white male authors.

“Archer was just the place that helped me really discover who I was and find my voice as a person, as a student,” Bahedry said. “I think that I realized that when I went to college — how special and unique our English program was that really encouraged us to think differently and question things.”

Bahedry said she remembers her English teachers who “let the students direct the conversation” and tries to do the same thing during her class.

“Ms. Bahedry is a really great teacher. She clearly loves her work and she’s very passionate about Archer,” sophomore Amanda Greene, one of Bahedry’s students, said. “She’ll…listen to what you have to say and give her own comments, and it really makes you feel validated.”

Wogensen, who was involved in the hiring process, said that he is excited by Bahedry and alumni in general returning to Archer to teach.

“I think it’s really healthy for Archer, for any school, to have alumni come back and be involved in the school in different ways,” he said, “but to have them come back and teach is, to me, the most valuable and rewarding thing.”

Bahedry is able to draw from her own experiences as an Archer student as she teaches.

I try to really empathize with the experience of [students.] I played soccer; I remember what it was like coming home from practice at 9:30 at night,” Bahedry said. “I know that English can sometimes feel like a lot because of the amount of reading we have to do, but I really try to check in with my students as much as I can.”

Bahedry emphasized the value of the relationships she builds with her students.

“I want my door to feel open to people…I think there are things that can feel overwhelming about school, about Archer,” she said. “I just I want to let them know it’s going to be okay and they’re going to turn out great, and there’s something so valuable about being here, that it’s going to help you grow into this amazing person.”

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