The Block Island Times

Making a difference: Nathaniel Shaw

By Fraser Lang | Feb 27, 2014
Photo by: Stephanie Turaj

When people describe Nathaniel Shaw they say he is enthusiastic — about teaching, coaching, working — in fact just about life in general. Nathaniel is in his second year as a math teacher at The Block Island School. He also coaches the JV girl’s basketball team (that ended the season with a 9-2 record).

That’s his job and he’s good at it.

But Nathaniel goes above and beyond every day. When I talked to him on Presidents’ Day he was at the school playing basketball with the kids to give them something to do on their day off.  He said, “I love this place because I get to know the kids very well and develop a personal relationship.” It’s about establishing “mutual respect”.

He often stays after school just to talk to the students or to help them organize activities. He will set up a hockey game and he went along as a chaperone on the ski trip. One parent remarked, “In a short time he has made a big difference.”

Nathaniel says he is “hooked” on Block Island, and finds it a good place and a good community. He also works at The Spring House at the new Barn Restaurant, and spent the there summer as a waiter. It’s difficult to see how he would ever have a spare minute.

Nathaniel is up-front about the fact that he is adopted and says that the students find that interesting. He grew up in Coventry and graduated from the University of Rhode Island.  He is enthusiastic about his life before he arrived on our shores.

By all accounts his students absolutely love him. He has been adopted again by the Block Island community.

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