Aaron Gardner

Middle School Humanities Teacher

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

Since 2016.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

Oak Grove School offers a unique opportunity to think about the distinction between teacher and learner, and ultimately collapse that hierarchy altogether. I work in a beautiful environment with a caring community. It’s pretty awesome.

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even but a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” – James Baldwin

Where is your special spot on campus?

The Lost Meadow.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee.

What makes an Oak Grove education unique?

Students learn to be advocates for themselves, and for their learning.

What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

The Rite of Passage trip to Matilija Canyon with the eighth graders.

The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …

Tank and the Bangas, hands down.

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

More of a moment than a teacher. Once, in tenth grade, an English teacher had us work for a month on a project for the novel The Plague. Then he marched us to the trashcan and had us throw the project away to teach about loss. I still don’t know how I feel about it.

Name something that nobody knows about you.

I can’t, because then somebody would know.

Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.

James Baldwin.

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.

So many. Vietnam, Cambodia, Ghana, Iceland…the list is endless.

What is your most bizarre OGS experience?

A swarm of bees on both sides of the pavilion stage at the same time.