Phil Oates makes big move to Lowell Elementary


Splash photo Courtesy John Tlumacki/Boston Globe

Phil Oates (center) has taken on a new role in Watertown: interim principal at Lowell Elementary School.

Alex Miller, Ryan Leonard, and Martha Aramthip

Math teacher Phil Oates, an important member of the Watertown Middle School community, recently left to work in a new position as the interim principal of Lowell Elementary School. The following is an interview conducted at Lowell Elementary about his transition.

Q: How is this room different from your old classroom?

A: I can tell you that there is less traffic here then there was right across from the library. I don’t get to high five Ms. Maroni-Wagner each period, which is disappointing. And I don’t have Ms. Dube’s cat stories to get me through the day, which is also a bummer. I miss Best Buddies terribly, and all the Connections kids. I don’t socialize that much at the middle school anymore.

Q: Do you miss teaching math specifically?

A: I have jumped into classrooms to teach math. I have done multiplication table races, and I have tried to jump in and talk about how I multiply. I’m also trying to implement math RTIs [response to interventions].

Q: How is the location of this school different from the location of the middle school.

A: We have two playgrounds here which is awesome. It’s technically a half-mile closer to my house. The one downfall is that there’s no Pokestops on the grounds, so I can’t get any more Pokeballs.

Q: How is your job at the Lowell school different from you previous job at the middle school?

A: There are certainly more hours to put into the day. I have less time to get to know kids, which is not as fun as it used to be, My favorite part about teaching seventh grade was getting to know a hundred kids every year, I’m getting to know 400 kids, which is awesome, but you get to know them on a less deep level.

–Feb. 15, 2017–