Paul Kilgus joined The New School in 2018 as an Upper School Science teacher. This school year marks his eighth year as an educator. In addition to teaching AP Physics, 7th-Grade Science, Physical Science and Game Design, Mr. Paul also facilitates The New School's Table-Top Gaming Club.
"Mr. Paul has impacted me both in and out of class," remarked Lisette B., class of 2022. "He has taught me how to evaluate questions in a way that forces my brain to come up with a solution that is supported by solid reason, while questioning all the factors of my answer, as opposed to just guessing. As a result, I’ve been thinking more critically, which is beneficial for physics, but also for my other classes. Mr. Paul has also helped me become more responsible as a student, and a person, which I believe has helped me vastly on all accounts."
Q&A with Mr. Paul
What is unique about teaching at The New School?
First, the small class sizes allow me to know each student better and have a meaningful relationship with them. Secondly, the natural spaces on campus are tremendous. These spaces can function as an academic setting or as a relaxing downtime destination.
What drives you as an educator?
My education in physics gave me such an appreciation for critical thinking. I strive to center my classes on the "how and why." I'm driven in my role to help my students develop the skills to become critical thinkers.
What advice have you been given that inspires you?
Someone once told me to "Never make assumptions about a student's life outside of the classroom. Never assume you know where they are coming from." This has helped me to better understand students and be more compassionate.
What is a challenge you have had to overcome in your career?
I thought my first year of teaching would be physics for juniors and seniors as an elective. Instead, it was teaching these subjects as a required class for freshmen. Having to change the curriculum, instructional methods and, most importantly, expectations, was definitely a challenge.
How do you remain a lifelong learner?
With a constant stream of information available online, it's easy to continue to learn. I happen to have married someone that engages me in conversations and is also a lifelong learner. The people closest to me engage me in meaningful conversations as well.