Parent with a Purpose: Adam Culbert

Column Sponsored by Derby Street Shoppes

By Laurie Corbett, Publisher Mom, South Shore Boston January 12, 2017
I continue to be amazed by parents across the South Shore who make our community better every day, and am excited to share with you our first featured dad! 

Thank you to our friends at Derby Street Shoppes for sponsoring this column each month. They generously provide our Parent with a Purpose with a gift card to stop for a minute and take care of themselves. Check out their unique outdoor shopping center and list of store and restaurants at

I am excited to introduce our January Parent with a Purpose Adam Culbert who along with his fabulous wife Erin not only work in the public school system, but also continue to educate students at their Norwell based South Shore Learning Lab. Here's his story ... 

How do you make a difference on the South Shore? What do you want to accomplish?

My wife Erin and I were both born, raised, and educated in Scituate -  where we still live, teach, and are now raising our own family. Needless to say, I very much appreciate and am proud to live on the South Shore. As a teacher, I strive to give back to my own community through education. I truly feel honored to be an educator and work with young people, teaching them not just math (in my case) but trying to instill values of responsibility, integrity, and citizenship.

What inspired/encouraged you to become a teacher and/or start South Shore Learning Lab?  Is there one specific moment when you knew this was what you wanted to do?

As much as I value being in the classroom, I also love having even more opportunities to work with students individually outside of school. Despite all of the incredible advancements in educational technology, I have found that there is still nothing as powerful as one-on-one human interaction when it comes to learning. Erin and I wanted to create a professional environment where teachers and students could work free from the distractions of home or a public place, such as a library or coffee shop. South Shore Learning Lab was therefore a natural extension of what we love to do - and we've had a lot of fun since 2012! 

How did your life before children influence the dad you are today? What part do your children play in your desire to make a difference?

Was there a life before children? :) My own upbringing has had an enormous effect on the type of dad I hope I am today. My parents and family have always been and continue to be a major influence in all aspects of my life but in parenting to be sure. 
My children definitely inspire me to make a difference. I want them to grow up in a community that is kind, accepting, and has a lot to offer. My hope is that I can help play some small role in creating that type of environment for them.

What lessons/values are you learning through this process? What lessons/values do you hope your kids are learning?
I have learned a great deal both by teaching in the classroom and also developing South Shore Learning Lab outside of it. Both have helped reinforce for me the value of working hard at something, self-reflecting, and continuously trying to improve. We're by no means perfect, but I know Erin and I try our best to set good examples and instill these same values in our children. 

What can we do to support teachers/educators on the South Shore?

I think there is a great deal of support for educators and education in general in this area. We are really very fortunate to have so many strong districts and communities who place a high premium on education. One of the best supports parents can provide is to continue reinforcing to their children that their education matters and that hard work and perseverance are some of the best keys to success. I can't overstate how critical a role internal motivation plays in one's education. As much as educators try to promote motivation and desire within school, I also believe it's a characteristic that is truly fostered at home.