Middle school students and English Language Arts have sustained Natasha Goddard for over 25 years. Whether watching a student “get” Shakespeare or sharing angst over how the novel Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds ends teaching has given her insights into herself and her practice.
Prior to joining EXPLO, Natasha was the ELA Department Head at Wellesley Middle School (WMS) in Wellesley, Massachusetts. As department head, Natasha was responsible for hiring, observations and evaluations, teacher training, and departmental goals. In addition, she was required to sit on both the Leadership Team for WMS and Academic Council for Wellesley Public Schools to collaborate with building and district leaders to shape the goals and practices of the district.
Natasha also diversified the curriculum with books by Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Jerry Craft, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Angie Thomas. She brought many of these authors, as well as others, to WMS to engage with students and teachers about the writing process, finding your voice, and finding inspiration.
Prior to becoming department head, Natasha taught 7th, 8th, and high school English at Wellesley Middle School, Moses Brown School, and Noble and Greenough. She also spent summers teaching at the Northfield-Mount Hermon and UMass-Boston/Noble and Greenough Upward Bound programs. Her experience in both the public and private school worlds, and with a variety of student populations, has ignited her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion not only in curriculum building, but in hiring practices, teacher evaluation, and pedagogy as well. Her commitment to DE&I work was crucial in her creation, and teaching, of United Scholars, a course for Wellesley Black and Brown students designed to provide social-emotional support as well as academic enrichment opportunities as they navigate a predominantly white environment.
Natasha received her Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College, her Masters of the Teacher of English from Columbia University Teachers College, and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Endicott College.