The Eagle’s Cry Interview: Ms. O’Brien

The Eagle's Cry Interview: Ms. O'Brien

Santina Lonardo, Reporter

Welcome to Bethpage High School, Ms. O’Brien! She grew up just 10 minutes from Bethpage in Syosset. Mrs. O’Brien is a new teacher straight out of college from Syracuse University. She graduated in May with a degree in Spanish Education. Teaching five periods per day, Ms. O’Brien loves her new job. She is so grateful for this opportunity at Bethpage High School while forming such an amazing connection and relationship to her new students.

 

Eagle’s Cry: Why did you choose to work at Bethpage High School?

 

Ms. O’Brien: I heard about the job from family friends of mine who live in the district and I just graduated college so I was already in search of trying to find a job  even though everything at this time is crazy. I had just received a flyer and surprisingly my hopes weren’t too high just in case I didn’t get the job. I then applied and I was really shocked when the school district called me the same day to schedule an interview. The more I started talking to the faculty members who work here and hearing about the district from my family friends and other people I knew about the district, it made me want to work here even more. After getting the job and coming here I really realized that I hit lotto. I really hit lotto. Being able to get my first and only job I applied to after college and having a realization that everything that I worked for and did in college really works out in the end. It really made me feel happy that I was working in such a great environment that I have a wonderful support of co-workers who help me out, my students who are great. It’s really more than I could’ve asked for not only my first job and I think any job.

 

Eagle’s Cry: What do you like about being a teacher?

 

Ms. O’Brien: I really love getting to know my students. Not necessarily knowing how they learn is the greatest thing ever when you’re covering a topic and everyone has it and everyone is so interested in learning it that’s the greatest feeling ever. Getting to know them, their interests and having to incorporate that into class. I had really amazing teachers growing up in which I formed very good relationships with that in school. That’s something you carry with you for years on end with the students and teachers you remember. Getting to know my students and working with them and helping them learn a new language is definitely the greatest thing I love about being a teacher.

 

Eagle’s Cry: What do you like to do in your free time?

 

Ms. O’Brien: I really like spending time with my family including my sister who just got home from college. Spending time with her now since she’s the baby in my opinion the time is more precious because when I was in school I had my own life but now being home we flip-flopped roles. Now she is going to school and starting her life now so seeing her and spending time with her and bond over the same things is really cool. I also enjoy spending time with my friends who I see a lot. Nothing in life brings me that much happiness that I get when I spend time with my family and my friends.

 

Eagle’s Cry: What in your opinion is most interesting about you?

 

Ms. O’Brien: I can say the alphabet backwards! I really love movies and TV shows and I always look up the fun facts on IMDb and do trivia. In my personality I tell things very bluntly and how it really is. For me when I was younger I was less outspoken but that has taught me alot about my self confidence. But now as an adult , going through school, gotten a job and currently still learning on how to be an adult I’ve realized you gotta put yourself out there,be extra confident and be the most honest person you can be. 

 

Eagle’s Cry: Who is your inspiration?

 

Ms. O’Brien: My abuela, my grandma is the reason why I wanted to teach because growing up Spanish wasn’t the biggest part of my life and I didn’t start learning it until school. Beforehand our relationship was kind of hard due to the language barrier but then once I started taking spanish I would frequently practice it with her and she would help me and therefore we became as close as ever. When I then started college I knew I wanted to teach but I didn’t quite know what to teach and then all of a sudden it hit me like a lightbulb. Why don’t I just do spanish its something I really enjoy, I know it, I love talking about it to people and I see myself teaching it to people to kids. She was definitely the inspiration I had for teaching. I was also aware that one day she wasn’t going to be around for much longer and using the language and having it a part of my life wasn;t going to be that prominent anymore so I figured that would be a great way to keep her around and keep using it in my life and not lose it in a sense. I wouldn’t lose a part of who I am. 

 

Eagle’s Cry: What did you do while quarantining in the months of March-June of last year?

 

Ms. O’Brien: I finished school and watched a lot of TV.. a lot of TV. I spent a lot of time with my mom and my dad especially, my dad because he works a crazy job so his hours are ridiculous and sometimes I’ll go weeks without seeing him and possibly only weekends I’ll see him . It’s either he will be home but i’ll be sleeping or vice versa. Getting to spend time with him specifically has been really really nice because before the global pandemic we never really had that. My cousin and I did InstaCart shopping in either of our towns and get the biggest orders we could and split whatever we made. 

 

Eagle’s Cry: Let’s say there was no pandemic where would you travel to right now and why?

 

Ms. O’Brien: I would really love to go to Greece. Greece is definitely on the top of my bucket list at the moment. 

 

Eagle’s Cry: How is teaching during the pandemic different from what you imagined?

 

Ms. O’Brien: For me personally when I was in college and student teaching I wasn’t grading papers and quizzes nor taking attendance and talking with parents and especially doing things on Infinite Campus. Coming into this school year I was already overwhelmed and taken back with all of those responsibilities and no one could’ve prepared us for teaching during a pandemic. It’s definitely been a struggle but me personally I was in your shoes a couple of months ago while completing my degree. Therefore I felt I had a better understanding on how to handle these situations by understanding my students better, understanding the frustration of being online in class while at home, walking around with a mask and barriers. It’s definitely been a play it by ear situation. Every day regardless of whether we’re in a pandemic or not, everyday is a new day in the teaching world. In general my time at Syracuse definitely prepared me for what to expect generally when it comes to teaching but once this pandemic hit it was definitely not an easy transition. Like I said before the help of my fellow staff members and my wonderful students have been so great and really supportive which made this much easier to handle. I feel that the answer to this question is an in between , meaning you have to try your best to be prepared even though you may not know what is coming. 

 

Eagle’s Cry: Why did you want to teach high school ?

 

Ms. O’Brien: When it comes to high school I feel that I relate better to the kids in the sense that I understand I’m not that much older than my students. Personally with high school I relate to everyone more because you are a lot more mature than middle school. Everyone understands things on a deeper level and therefore you can talk about things as young adults and adults. In my opinion it’s a lot more fun to teach high school because we’re able to talk about things and then relate it back to what our class discussion is. On a high school level we take things to a whole different level while thinking abstractly and critically and that’s the mindset I really enjoy. 

 

Eagle’s Cry: If you could choose a different career which one would it be and why?

 

Ms. O’Brien: If I was ever going to be in a different career I would definitely do something with theater. I could totally see myself being an actress on Disney Channel, Netflix or even being a singer !