Erin Bennett

High School English Teacher


B.A., French, International Studies, Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin – Madison
M.A., Comparative Literature, University of California – Berkeley

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

2021 was my first year teaching at Oak Grove.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

I am so excited to become a member of Oak Grove School’s inclusive and enriching community. I look forward to sharing in the journey of lifelong learning and fearless inquiry alongside my new colleagues and Oak Grove’s young scholars. I can’t wait to share my passion for literature, language, culture, and writing with my new students and to encourage their boundless creativity. From Oak Grove’s emphasis on self-discovery and nurturing one’s mind, body, and spirit to the community’s intentional connections with nature and with India, this opportunity is truly a dream come true for me!

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

“You always see better with your heart.” —a fortune cookie fortune

Where is your special spot on campus?

Wherever be the goats! Or the quails, or the rabbits, or the lizards . . . I just love being outside here and observing the wildlife!

Coffee or Tea?

a latte, with at least 2 shots of espresso :-D

What makes an Oak Grove education unique?

Upon a campus embedded within a landscape both cultivated and wild, an Oak Grove education invites one to think about their relationship to the natural world and how that relationship informs one’s sense of community and responsibility.

How do we prepare students for their life ahead?

As an English teacher, one of my central goals is to walk students through the art of close reading and to emphasize its real world application. I teach my students that close reading applies far beyond any single academic discipline, that it is most importantly an analytical tool that one can apply to any and all texts that one encounters, be they television advertisements or bumper stickers. It is a practice that attunes one’s mind to details and nuance, allowing one to examine content critically and to question it thoughtfully.

What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

A motorcycle trip to Pangong Lake in Ladakh, India

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

Joanna Newsom at Oakland’s Fox Theater in 2016

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

My second and third grade teacher, Mrs. Janssen. She taught me the importance of empathy and showed me so much love and care during a difficult time in my young life.

Name something that nobody knows about you.

I can speak, in varying degrees of fluency (or lack there of), Tamil, Hindi, French, and Italian. I love to learn new languages!

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

Elena Ferrante

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

Japan. I’d also love to take a trip via the Trans-Siberian Railway!

How many Patagonia clothing items do you own? How many are you wearing now?

None as of yet, but my virtual shopping cart is filling up fast!