Wendy Maxon says the part of her teaching job at Webb that she enjoys most is really getting to know her students and fellow teachers as individuals.
“It wasn’t like that where I went to school or college,” she said of the big public institutions where she received her education. “It’s amazing to get to know who a person is – how they think, what they enjoy about life.”
She likens it to the intimacy of a camp where everyone lives and learns together.
“When I was in high school, if I ran into a teacher at Target, it would have been insane! At Webb, everyone feels so known and welcome,” she added. She has lived and worked at Webb for more than a decade.
A native Californian, Maxon grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA where she received her BA. She then studied at UC San Diego where she earned Master’s and Ph.D. degrees.
Though she has taught at the college level, as a lecturer at UC San Diego and Cal State San Marcos, Maxon says her priorities aligned best with Webb because she wanted to stay in California and to “teach where high level students actively want to learn and discuss new ideas.”
In her Advanced Placement World History class for 12 graders, Maxon likes to employ projects to engage students.
“I really like creative projects – I like fiction writing a lot so sometimes I will ask students to convey the information they’ve learned in the form of a story,” she explained. There are quite a bit of reading and creative writing and research assignments in her classes. And she encourages simulations, where students take on various historical roles and “battle-it-out!”
She works in the weight room in the afternoons and lives on campus with her husband, Robert, and her nine-year-old son Joshua, In her spare time, she writes a lot, loves comedy shows and takes various dance classes, in everything from hip hop to Latin genres.
But her favorite parts of the day are simply talking to her advisees after school or meeting with girls in the dorm.
“I thought I wanted to be a fiction writer or a professor,” said Maxon. “But essentially what I want to do is learn things and be in an intellectual community. And Webb is the perfect place for that.”