Lauren Crosby is Lincoln Academy’s new English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher.
In November Lincoln Academy welcomed Lauren Crosby as its new English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher. She replaced departing ESOL teacher Heather Miller teaching several sections of English to Lincoln’s international students.
Crosby is a midcoast Maine native who grew up in Georgetown and graduated from Morse High School in 2012. She went on to earn a degree in secondary education with concentration in English from the University of Maine, Farmington in 2016. During her time at Farmington Crosby took advantage of an exchange program that allowed her to spend semesters at other colleges around the United States while continuing to pay in-state tuition. Through this program she spent one semester at the University of Memphis studying jazz vocal performance, and one at the University of New Mexico studying Spanish.
Crosby completed her student teaching at an American International School in South Korea, where she spent six months teaching English before graduating from UMaine Farmington with her bachelors degree and teacher certification in December of 2016.
After graduation, Crosby’s first “real teaching job” was in Toksook Bay, Alaska, where she taught English in a community where most people’s first language is Yup’ik Eskimo. As part of this job, Crosby received significant training in teaching English to native people in a culturally sensitive way. According to Crosby, Toksook Bay is an extremely remote location on the Bering Sea, accessible only by bush plane. “There are no cars there, only snowmobiles,” Crosby recounts. “It was quite a journey to get there with all of my stuff.”
While she enjoyed that job and would have stayed longer, Crosby learned that she had been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Thailand that she had applied for before moving to Alaska. She left Toksook Bay after six months and moved to a remote region in Thailand “where there are zero English speakers.” Crosby taught English at a Thai public high school where her students were studying English as a foreign language. There she learned to speak Thai. “It was necessary,” she said. “In some parts of Thailand, the touristy parts, you can get away with speaking English, but where I was you couldn’t get a cup of coffee without learning Thai.”
The Thai school year, and with it Crosby’s Fulbright Fellowship, ended in October of 2018, and Crosby returned to her parents’ home in Georgetown, where she spent a few weeks recovering from her travel before finding the ESOL opening at LA. “The timing was lucky for me, because the school calendar in Thailand is opposite of here, and finding a teaching job at that time of year could have been challenging. I feel lucky that this job opened up!”
So far Crosby is settling in easily at Lincoln, where she is thoroughly enjoying her students. “I like working with young people, especially adolescents. Every day is a little different. You never know what is going to get thrown at you. It is a career where you can make a difference in many people’s lives. Not a lot of careers have that opportunity.”
Even while traveling the world as a teacher, Crosby has managed to maintain a career as a professional singer/songwriter. She performs regularly around Maine and New England with her band, which plays American folk and blues music at various concert venues, bars, and private parties. She has already released two albums of original music, with another album due out in April. “I have had a hard time deciding between my two loves, teaching and music,” Crosby said. So far she has been able to do both.
“We are thrilled to have Lauren’s energy and expertise at LA,” said English Department Head Bryan Manahan, who has been working closely with Crosby as she gets settled in to her new position. “I think it is great that a young woman who grew up in midcoast Maine and ended up teaching in Asia and Alaska can bring those skills back to her home community.”
Interim Head of School Nancy Starmer agrees, and notes that she particularly appreciates Crosby’s rich experience across many languages, regions, and skills. “There is more on her resume than most people twice her age might boast, and I am certain our ESOL students and the LA community will benefit from her wealth of talent and experience!”