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Interview With Ms. Allen

By: Katarina Maldarelli and Chaivin Moon

Belmont High School, originally established in 1865, has held many brilliant teachers and staff members over the years. As time has passed, older staff have retired and new teachers have taken their place. The new high school building, built two years ago, brought an influx of new teachers. Chloe Allen, an English teacher, was among the new faces that joined Belmont High School’s teaching community. She currently teaches sophomore English at both the CP and Honors levels. We decided to interview her to get insight into what it is like being a new teacher at BHS, how teaching at Belmont differs from other schools, and to simply get to know who she is! 

Ms/Teacher Allen came to her first year at Belmont High School with experience from her student teaching at Somerville High School. There, she worked with freshmen in the English department. When discussing her first year in Belmont, she said that she's "liking it ... Belmont is definitely a good school to enter into teaching.” In addition, one perk of Belmont, different from Somerville, is the open campus policy, where students can go outside during lunch, or leave campus if they are an upperclassman. Allen believes that this flexibility lets students get “involved in a lot of extracurriculars and [students] are organizing clubs and doing a lot with their own projects" which is something that "makes [her] happy to see as a new teacher.” She continued talking about the Belmont community in general, praising 5 Minutes Ago, Highpoint, as well as other extracurriculars. Overall, Allen said that she's "enjoying [Belmont], enjoying [her] students and all that”. 

Although fun, Allen describes her first year teaching as crazy. Initially, she was only hired for 60% of the time, however, due to scheduling she ended up teaching classes throughout all 7 blocks. However, she stated that while “It’s definitely been that [crazy]... [and] very busy, but [she's] also been learning a lot.” When asked about one thing she wished she could change in Belmont she responded humorously saying “Maybe less essays to grade.” However, it’s apparent that she loves what she does and enjoys teaching English. During our conversation, she talked about some books she would want to teach if she could. She said she would love to teach Poet X to help students grow into poetry because many students find it a bit daunting. She even gave us book recommendations, talking about The God of Small Things and In the Dream Houses both part of her favorite genre, magical realism. She added she also liked reading memoirs such as Crying at H-Mart. 

When asked about her future and where Belmont stood she replied saying that she would "love to stay in Belmont, that’s in [her] plans.” She elaborated further, saying she would love to continue teaching English or anything humanities-related. In the future, she hopes to work with the ESL (English as a Second Language) program but for now, she is continuing with teaching English. If you go to Belmont High School or plan to go here in the future, you might see her around!

Image courtesy of Belmont High School.


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