Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Gonzalez


Juliana Vandermark

Ms. Gonzalez is a new English teacher at CRLS this year.

Juliana Vandermark, Contributing Writer

Register Forum: How many years have you been a teacher for?

Brenda Gonzalez: I have completed seven years of teaching; after this year, it will be my eighth.

RF: When did you start to develop an interest in English as a subject?

BG: Probably in high school. I’ve always kind of wanted to be a teacher— even when I was a little kid. You know people play doctor or explorer, [but] I used to want to pretend to be a teacher and have a classroom [with] my cousins. But in high school I really loved English class, and then when I went to college, I took an American lit class [and the professor] made me love literature, and then I took [a class with] the same professor, [and] we read Tess of d’Urbervilles, which is a Tom Harding book, and that was it. I was like, “I’m hooked; I’m in love.”

RF: What did you do before you came to CRLS?

BG: I have taught high schoolers in Waltham, I tried to teach seventh graders in Worcester [but] that just wasn’t my cup of tea, and then I was [in Framingham] the longest  at Fuller Middle School teaching eighth graders.

RF: Do you prefer teaching high school?

BG: Yeah, I like teaching high schoolers better mainly because there’s a lot less behavioral stuff, and we can really dig into the literature and really explore what we’re reading—versus at the middle school level, [where] I was doing a lot of comprehension and making sure they understood what they were reading. Here, we get to have conversations and just a lot more dialogue.

RF: What do you like most about being an English teacher?

BG: So I think that my subject’s probably the most subjective when it comes to grading, which is probably the thing that is a little harder about [it], but the thing I love the most is that we are able to engage in some deep conversations and really explore some deep topics—especially things that are relevant to you guys out in the world today—and we can connect [your lives]  with what we’re reading, so that’s always fun.

RF: Since you’ve started teaching here, what have you noticed is unique about our school?

BG: There’s a lot of things that are unique about CRLS.God, there’s so much. Just the fact that you guys don’t have weighted averages, that’s something unique.

The fact that the English Department is moving toward becoming unleveled, that’s definitely something unique that you don’t really see happening in too many high schools. So next year I’ll actually be teaching 10th grade, which will be unleveled, so that’s going to be an interesting experience, but I’m looking forward to it.

Just the city itself [is unique], and you know I love the importance the teachers are given, I love the importance the parents are given, I love the importance that even you kids are given. I love that students have such a voice and they are given the opportunity to use that voice here. [It’s] very, very unique.

This piece also appears in our May print edition.