New Teacher Interview: Ms. Chabot: by Ayah Elrayah

Ms. Chabot is the newest addition to the English Language Learners department at Memorial. 

What did you want to be growing up?

  • “I went through quite a few phases in my journey to becoming an educator. As a young child, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but when I learned of a veterinarian’s responsibility towards performing surgery, my interest immediately died. I didn’t want to cut open animals, I just wanted to help them stay healthy. Eventually, I settled on becoming an artist (honestly because I thought it was easy) and then focused my attention on fashion design and finally on costume design. I loved the idea of telling stories and making incredible looking clothing. I took this love through the educational lense and ended up graduating from Massachusetts College of Art with a bachelor’s degree in fashion and from the University of Connecticut with a master’s degree in costume design. Ten years later, and after the birth of my son, it became incredibly difficult for me to continue working in theater; the days were long, the pay was virtually nonexistent, and most of the jobs required traveling. I was fortunate to be able to return to school and focus on a newly developed passion: foreign language. My decision to begin learning Mandarin Chinese as an adult and the excitement I garnered from it led me towards getting my master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.”

Why did you take this job?

  • “I took the job because I knew that it was the perfect place for me. Memorial has a growing population of developing bilinguals, and my background in visual arts and my training as an English teacher help me create lessons that are (to my mind) somewhat outside the norm. I want my students to understand how the English language works alongside how life works.”

How is it going so far?

  • “Keeping up with lesson planning is the biggest challenge. Often times it feels like keeping ahead of a speeding train, but my students are well worth it.”

What were you expecting when you took the job?

  • “I expected I would need to work hard. I expected that my students would be a great group of kids. I expected that I would feel overwhelmed and overjoyed, all at the same time. Ultimately, I was right.”

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