By Student Reporter Hanan S.
I had the privilege to interview one of Sage Day’s many extraordinary teachers, Mrs. C. Stone. She teaches English 10 and 12, culinary arts class, writing class, student council and college process, and yoga at Sage’s Rochelle Park High School. I have had the opportunity to have Mrs. Stone as a teacher as a sophomore for English, and as a senior for English, culinary arts, writing, and student council.
HS: What is the best part of teaching English?
CS: I love to read and analyze, so I try to share that passion with my students. Also, I appreciate that there are many ways for students to respond to literature and share their ideas. I enjoy hearing about the various perspectives and insights the students bring to discussions; I can learn from my students and they can learn from each other.
HS: What kind of secret things are in the teachers’ lounge?
CS: No big secrets, but people often bring in snacks and treats to share, which is very appreciated by all.
HS: Do you prefer a chalk board, dry erase board, or smart board? Why?
CS: I really like my Smart Board, but sometimes I still use the chalk board; it requires less time to turn on.
HS: Do you have any advice for your current students or students you will have next year?
CS: My advice to students is always to work hard, pay attention to deadlines, and ask for help when you need it. These three steps will demonstrate to your teacher, and future professors and employers, that you are motivated to learn, which teachers love to see. Additionally, I encourage students to do their best in every subject even if they are not sure what they want to do in the future—it’s best to leave as many doors open as possible.
HS: If you had to be something other than a teacher what would you be?
CS: I used to say I wanted to be a civil engineer because I am fascinated by bridges and tunnels, and I would be very proud of myself if I designed a bridge that millions of people drove across. Unfortunately, I don’t know that I have the skills or knowledge to do that. However, there are many other careers I would be interested in trying. I love to cook, so I think it would be fun to own a restaurant. I love to garden (even though I am not always successful), so maybe I could see myself selling fresh flowers and produce. But, honestly, I love teaching and working with students, so I am glad I ended up where I am.
HS: How long have you been teaching?
CS: I have been teaching for nine years. I taught in a school in Connecticut for three years before I came here.
HS: What did you do before you were a teacher?
CS: I worked at Dairy Queen throughout high school and for a couple summers during college, but after months of applying and anxiety, I got my first teaching job a few months after graduating from Ithaca College.
HS: How many essays do you read each year?
CS: Sometimes it feels like a million, but it’s probably in the hundreds. It can be a time-consuming process, but I really do enjoy reading what students have to say, and I love to be a part of the progress and growth in their writing.
HS: If you had to make a list of the top 3 books that everyone should read, what would it include?
CS: Well, of course, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because it’s my favorite novel, but I also highly recommend The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and Night by Elie Weisel. There are so many great books out there, and I hope that everyone finds at least a couple of books that they can connect to and learn from. Personally, I like books that make me think about how people become who they are and challenge me to consider what type of person I am becoming.
HS: What was your favorite subject in school?
CS: In high school, it probably was English, which lead me to choose English Education as my major, but I always enjoyed learning new things, so I like most subjects. I had a really great French teacher in high school also, so she instilled in me a passion for French language and culture, which consequently inspired me to minor in French. In college, I have really enjoyed my education classes; I love learning new techniques and strategies that I can bring to the classroom.