Q: Where did you go to high school and could you describe your high school experience?
A: I went to high school at State High in State College, and I had a very hard time in high school. I was going through a lot in my life at that point, in school and out.
Q: How have the first few weeks of school gone for you?
A: Teaching ninth grade has definitely been an adjustment from being a full time eleventh grade sub. The mood and energy level is definitely different. It has been great getting to know my students and seeing where they’re at.
Q: If you could describe your new classroom in one word what would it be?
A: Honestly it’s organized chaos. It’s a cacophony of voices, thoughts, opinions, ideas and chaos. Oftentimes all my students are talking at once, but they’re doing something, so that’s good.
Q: Could you describe your prior teaching experience?
A: Last year was a mess because of the world, but I really enjoyed subbing for eleventh grade. I liked figuring out how the skills I’m teaching them in English class translate into the real world. So it was a really good overall experience.
Q: What got you interested in the subject you teach and what was your favorite growing up?
A: When I was in college, I majored in electrical engineering, and I realized about half way through my first semester that what I really loved about that class was teaching my classmates. So what I thought I loved was the material but what I really loved was the act of teaching. My ceramics class was my favorite subject. I took it all four years, and I just really enjoyed it.
Q: What brought you to Altoona to teach?
A: I really wanted to stay in the area, and I wanted to teach at a district that was different from State College because I attended there and did my student teaching there and I just needed something new. I was looking for a place where I could do my own spin on teaching, and Altoona lets us have a lot of freedom.
Q: What inspired you to become a teacher?
A: My senior year English teacher, Kate Walker. She was really a life changing teacher. She saw us as humans in ways some of my other teachers didn’t.
Q: Why did you choose to teach high school?
A: I chose high school partly because my teachers were so important to me surviving not even just graduating but attending life the next day. That and I think my personality is just a better fit for high school, and I just don’t think I could deal with a bunch of younger kids.
Q: What would be a suggestion you have to make AAHS better?
A: I would love to see more resort to justice. At this point a lot of the measures we take when a kid gets in trouble are a very rigid process and most times they get an in school suspension, an out of school suspension, a Saturday or an after school detention. Most times the punishment never looks at the antecedent, so what comes before the incident. I feel like if we were to look at the incident all the way around and determine an appropriate punishment for what had happened things would be a lot better for everyone.
Q: If you could teach another subject what would it be and why?
A: I would love to be an art teacher and for that I would be willing to teach elementary. A lot of what I look at when I teach English is how different art forms have inspired English and how they play off each other.
Q: What is your go to snack or lunch item to bring with you to school?
A: I eat a sandwich everyday, but on the weekends I love to make a batch of cookies and have one in my lunch everyday. Any kind of homemade baked good I’m always down for.
Q: If you could choose one fast food restaurant to be in the school cafeteria what would it be and what would you order there?
A: I would definitely say Taco Bell, so I could have Doritos locos tacos everyday.
Q: Who has been the most help to you as you have started this new job?
A: Ms. Flick for sure. I ask her probably a thousand questions a day. Especially last year when we were room neighbors. I would stop in every period and ask if she knew how to do this or that, and she was always so helpful.