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LuShuang Xu interviewed six teachers, all of whom are new to Aragon. This is their extended interview.
1. What made you want to become a teacher?
Ms. Sadlon: I was an engineer before. It didn’t match my personality. I love that [teaching] lets me be creative.
Ms. Dost: I love working with kids because they always keep you on your toes.
Ms. Yu: My family has a lot of teachers in Taiwan. I was expected to become a teacher. [One of my old professor’s] compassion about teaching inspired me.
Mr. Kundin: It’s something that I have wanted to do since high school.
Mr. Rahman: I became a teacher originally because I wanted to coach track and field.
Mr. Reiss: I wanted to be a teacher because I like to see my students’ faces light up when they finally understand a difficult concept.
2. What are your hobbies?
Ms. Sadlon: I like to bike and run. Anything outside.
Ms. Dost: I like to cycle and run. Reading is probably my favorite thing to do…crosswords and baking too.
Ms. Yu: I love listening to music and playing the harp. I love looking for new teaching tools online. I spend a lot of time on my work.
Mr. Kundin: Surfing and spending time with my family.
Mr. Rahman: Mountain biking, playing soccer and remote control cars.
Mr. Reiss: I enjoy running. I really enjoy cooking. I probably spend too much money on my kitchen. I have a fascination with vintage cookware…and I like American heritage recipes.
3. Where is your hometown?
Ms. Sadlon: It’s a small town up in New York, where the cows are.
Ms. Dost: San Mateo County.
Ms. Yu: Taipei, Taiwan.
Mr. Kundin: San Mateo.
Mr. Rahman: Peoria, Illinois
Mr. Reiss: My hometown is an hour east of LA. It’s called Redlands.
4. How would you describe yourself in one word?
Ms. Sadlon: pleasantly sarcastic
Ms. Dost: complicated
Ms. Yu: weird
Mr. Kundin: nice
Mr. Rahman: one
Mr. Reiss: spirited
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Ms. Sadlon: Slow walkers, just people walking down the street and people at school too.
Ms. Dost: I’m a big fan of the look method.
Ms. Yu: My son’s whistling.
Mr. Kundin: Students painting nails in class.
Mr. Rahman: Gum chewing in my class because they stick it under their desks. Then other people accidentally touch it.
Mr. Reiss: When someone asks you a question and you start explaining but they start to not pay attention.
6. What do you like the most about Aragon?
Ms. Sadlon: The kids are great. They’re willing to try things and I like that. Other teachers are also pleasantly sarcastic.
Ms. Dost: I just like the overall positive vibe when you get on campus, both from teachers and students and staff.
Ms. Yu: Students. They commit to their work. It’s really touching.
Mr. Kundin: The teachers, the math department, the students, and all the staff.
Mr. Rahman: The people have been so awesome…really warm and welcoming people.
Mr. Reiss: The students. The students are very academically oriented, enthusiastic and happy to be at school.
7. Where else have you taught?
Ms. Sadlon: Berkeley High School.
Ms. Dost: I taught at Hillsdale.
Ms. Yu: I used to be a substitute in South Bay.
Mr. Kundin: Jefferson High School, Oceanside, Cappuccino, Peninsula High School.
Mr. Rahman: I have taught at two high schools: Sir Francis Drake and Redwood High School.
Mr. Reiss: Hayward, California.
8. What flavor of ice cream would you be?
Ms. Sadlon: I would say chocolate with some kind of nuts and chips mixed. You’re never gonna know what you get in the next bite.
Ms. Dost: Mocha almond fudge. It has little surprises.
Ms. Yu: Green tea, mild not sweet and calm.
Mr. Kundin: Orange sorbert.
Mr. Rahman: Häagen-Dazs coffee.
Mr. Reiss: Salted Caramel.
9. Pineapples or kiwis and why?
Ms. Sadlon: Kiwis. That green color. It’s beautiful. Easier to get at [than pineapples].
Ms. Dost: Definitely pineapple. It’s better Kiwi’s are too watery.
Ms. Yu: Can I mix them?
Mr. Kundin: Pineapples. It tastes better.
Mr. Rahman: I love pinapples. I can’t get enough of it. It’s the one fruit that I buy and always finish.
Mr. Reiss: Pineapple because it compliments spices and Asian dishes. But you can also make dessert with them.