Blair Latin teacher Kelsie Fralick has found that her history as a professional ice hockey player in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), who skated for the championship-winning Boston Pride during the 2015-2016 season, has given her some street cred with the students she coaches on the JV field hockey and girls' lacrosse teams. "The girls respect me a lot more knowing that I was just in college and just finished pro so they know that I know my stuff," she said in an interview with Pucks and Recreation. "The boys think it's cool that their Latin teacher isn't really such a nerd."
In a November 1 article published on that website, Ms. Fralick shares her thoughts on the teaching of classics at boarding schools (prior to coming to Blair, she taught at St. Paul's in Concord, New Hampshire, and she attended Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, during her student days). She also considers the value of studying languages that are no longer spoken, discusses the parallels between Latin and hockey, and explains how her time as a college-turned-pro athlete has informed her coaching strategy, something she has found particularly influential at the JV level.
"I think my athletic career was a necessity for my teaching career," said Ms. Fralick, who taught Latin and coached JV field hockey and JV ice hockey at St. Paul's for two years and earned her master's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania before joining Blair's faculty in 2017. "Without sports, I wouldn't be where I am today. Hands down. Playing hockey really prepared me to be the best student I could be and the best person I could be. I had to manage my time efficiently, I had to be organized, and I had to give 100 percent in everything I did if I wanted to go anywhere or accomplish anything. I developed some good habits throughout my athletic career that have helped me become an efficient teacher, a good coach, and a person with whom my students can relate and feel comfortable."
Learn more about Ms. Fralick's career as a hockey player, first at Connecticut College (where she studied classical languages and anthropology) and then as an athlete in the NWHL, by reading the Pucks and Recreation article "Kelsie Fralick Seizing New Days with Old World Tongues."