Neil Chaudhary, one of the science teachers at Loomis Chaffee, teaches Advanced Introduction to Biology and Advanced Introduction to Chemistry and is planning to teach the brand new course, Forensic Science next year. The classes Mr. Chaudhary teaches contain a wide variety of students, ranging from freshmen to juniors.
Starting off his career in Loomis by working as an assistant director of winter musical in 2009, he slowly worked himself into the Science department by attending the actual science classes in Loomis. He started to teach science in Loomis for the next two years, and then left to Vietnam for more teaching experience. He came back a few years later and is now currently in his 6th year as a teacher in Loomis.
Mr. Chaudhary is a graduate of Loomis Chaffee, class of 2005. He liked all the subjects he learned in Loomis, but was particularly interested in science and English. He never really thought that he was the best student in writing in Loomis, but when he went to college he realized that he was very well prepared from the writing program. However, by the time he got into college, he chose to study religion. The religious studies helped him to understand how people are so different around the world. It had made him to become a more tolerant person he is now. Moreover, the studies were also about a personal search for meaning. He was having a hard time with traumatic events in his personal life, and the studies helped him figure out what gave meanings to other people’s lives. Studying religion helped him to find his own way in the world, and to develop his own sense of purpose. After he graduated, however, he started to focus on science. In the labs in UCONN, he focused on studying biology, and wanted to be more knowledgeable in this area. He started to become more interested in teaching when was tutoring other students in college in writing. He found the process of helping others and sharing ideas rewarding and decided that it was something he wanted to do in the future.
He used to live in Flagg as a dorm parent, but now is a day teacher. He liked being a dorm parent because he got to know the students much better, and see a different, more genuine side of the students in the dorm. He claimed that some of the most valuable work he has done in Loomis were in the dorms. Connecting the students with the resources they need and helping them through their personal situations were very meaningful for him. Yet, he also enjoys being a day teacher now, due to some time that he gets to spend to focus more on his classes and teaching. The separation between his home life and work life feels nice, because of the great amount of responsibilities the dorm parents have to have. “I have a lot of respect for the teachers who’ve lived in the dorms for a long time. They are the pillars of our community, and the foundation in which this school rests. It’s true,” he claims.
Most of the after school activities he worked with were in the theater, which he very much enjoyed. He liked watching the production come together, seeing other parts of the people, and destroying the sets afterwards. However, he works purely now as a teacher, and sometimes misses theater a lot.
When I asked him which part of Loomis he likes the most, he found it very hard to choose one, so I let him choose a few. First, he stated that his ability to share his passion for science feels wonderful. He enjoys spending his time thinking what would be a fun and exciting method for students to learn with. Instead of teaching science in a tight schedule and curriculum, he gets to focus so much in teaching and sharing his passion in science in Loomis. Moreover, he believes that the students he works with are fabulous. Everyday after class, the students walk out saying “Thank you,” and he finds it very rewarding and an unusual case in other schools. He also likes his colleagues in his department, who care a lot about their works and are all great. The diverse community Loomis has also helps him to keep his perspective global, by learning about different cultures from the students. He loves the beauty in the campus as well, and last but not least, he enjoys being in an environment where everyone tries to develop themselves.
His goal in life is to do meaningful work, which improves other people’s lives and to continue growing as a person. He desires to develop skills, gain greater mastery of himself, do his work in this world and be of service and do so with a sober mind of what his world is like but not be afraid of it. He wants personal tranquility, and just try to have a good life.
His happiest moment while teaching in Loomis happened when he was reading through the student surveys one year. One of his students wrote, “I hated science before, but I love it now,” and the fact that he had some part in changing someone’s mind about his passion felt very remarkable and rewarding.
His mentor is Simon Holdaway, a former teacher in Loomis. He was Mr. Chaudhary’s biology teacher, and a teacher who took his work seriously and also a model of teaching. Mr. Chaudhary claims that Mr. Holdaway is someone who is responsible for the teacher Neil is today. “If you read this Simon, I owe a lot to you,” he added.
“The best part about teaching is teaching.” Mr. Chaudhary, despite the great abilities he attains, pursues a simple and a happy life which he can contribute to improving others’ lives. His humbleness and care for his students inspired me and inspires the students in Loomis.