Teacher Feature: Mrs. Amanda Lane

Hear from an alumna that came back to teach! Mrs. Lane tells about the decision to make her high school her home again and how Tech has grown over the past few years.

What year did you graduate from Tech?

In 2005.

Why did you become an English teacher?

I’ve always loved English and literature and the analysis and writing. I used to write all the time on Zenga, a website before Facebook where you could blog, kind of like Livejournal. I would post my creative writing on there. In terms of being a teacher, I didn’t always want to be a teacher. I wanted to go into publishing and I did an internship at Regal Literary in the city. But six months into the internship made me realize that that’s not what I wanted to do. When I was interning, I was the first line for submissions. So as submissions would come in I would read them and say, “this is no good” and make the “no”, “yes”, and “maybe” piles. The life of a literary agent/ publisher was ultimately not what I wanted so I’m glad I did the internship.

Which teachers, that are still here, taught you?

Ms. Federico, she started my junior year. I had her my senior year. Mr. Callahan, for Russian, and Mr. Erlenwein. The first time I met him was because I failed a chemistry test and he offered to tutor me. Mr. Manzo, I was in the first class he taught, and in his homeroom. He taught computer science.

What do you read and how often?

I’m a big medieval literature fan. So, I read Ser Gowen and the Green Knight and books like that.

Do you analyze books like we do in class?

Yeah, so when I tell everybody annotate! Write notes! I actually do that myself, because you get so much more out of the text that way, otherwise you lose a lot of it. So I can go back and read Canterbury Tales a second or third time. Now I’m actually on my tenth or eleventh time and keep finding new interesting elements buried in the text.

Are there any modern books that you feel could be analyzed?

Definitely. The original plan for the literature circles for your class last year was to pick multicultural lit books like The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. It’s one of my favorite books. It’s from the Asian American perspective. There’s all these multicultural perspectives that I feel you guys as a diverse student body should be exposed to and that’s something I really wasn’t exposed until college. I think, now, in 2015, the school is much more diverse than when I was here. I’m not saying it wasn’t back then, but it’s much more now.

Did you take the SHSAT back then?

Back then, it was power score. It was all of your 7th grade transcripts, your state tests, and the recommendation of your junior high. It wasn’t specialized yet but it was sort of known as the hidden gem of the city, as they used to call it.

Other major changes from Tech then and Tech now?

Just the influx of technology; like walking into the auditorium and seeing all the big screens on the wall and the new lighting system and now with the all the smartboards because then we still only had chalkboards. “The more things change the more they stay the same”. For me, that’s very much true here. There are a lot of things that are very different but it’s almost like coming back home for me.

Did you ever think while you were a student here that you would come back and teach?
No, that wasn’t the plan but what’s funny was I directed SING junior year, (it was only the second year of SING) and during hell week we had our dinner break in the dance room and we were eating dinner on the floor and I was tutoring people in physics in the middle of SING. I think it was just being in that leadership role and also at the same time being able to teach them and help them not only with academics but also with performing and making everything come together as a group, that’s really what hit the switch for me in terms of me being a teacher.

Do you already have a name in mind for your baby?
Yes, Michael Gordon.

Sounds like Michael Jordan.

Yeah, I know that’s the joke in the family. Michael is my husband’s grandfather’s name, and Gordon is after my dad.

When do you plan on coming back?

In the springtime probably around the end of March.

Are you prepared?

No. Not really but I’m so happy, nervous, and excited!

 

Best of luck to Mrs. Lane and her newest member of the family!

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