Charlotte Latin: Profile
Mike Weiss didn't expect to spend nearly two decades at Charlotte Latin when he came to the school as a young teacher in 1990.
But he enjoyed the environment and felt fortunate to be at Latin, where the school's structure promotes excellent teaching, he says. "The administration works very hard to create the fewest possible barriers to good teaching," says Weiss, who teaches Advanced Placement U.S. history.
Weiss and other teachers aren't bogged down with paperwork, he says, so they have more time and energy to provide students individual attention. Upper-school teachers' schedules include three or four planning periods, which fill up with student sessions; many of Weiss's students see him for extra help at least once a week.
The departments are also given freedom when shaping their curriculum, says Weiss, who chairs the history department. "The philosophy of the school is: bring in good people and let them do their work with as little interference as possible," he says.
Latin, like other top private schools, is known for the learning opportunities it provides teachers. Weiss spent a term at King's Bible College in Oxford learning about the Civil War from a global perspective and has attended workshops at top American universities, in addition to earning his master's degree. Weiss is one of the many veteran teachers in the upper school, where turnover is low. Charlotte Latin teachers have an average of nineteen years of experience.
In a rigorous school like Latin, it's important to teach students to balance their lives, something Weiss says he emphasizes while coaching cross country. "All of us work very hard, but there is a sense of everybody being in it together."