Linda Chiu was born and educated in Taiwan. She came to America for her advanced studies, and received a masters degree in linguistic studies and instructional design from Syracuse University in New York. After that, she went back to Taiwan for a few years, and came to Boston in 2011. A few of Ms. Chiu’s hobbies are reading spiritual books, meditating while riding on the MBTA, watching movies, and creating teaching material.
Can you explain why you chose to come teach at Brookline High School?
I actually met one of the teachers here, Mr. Chang. He told me about the school, its culture, and he said the students here are mature, if you want to compare it with other schools, which is something I was very interested in. And second of all, the teachers have more freedom, they do lots of things how they want to, they have ideas, and they want to design the classes their own way. In my previous school, because it was a private school, for a lot of things we just have to follow the procedures, top to bottom. I think it’s a different atmosphere, and that’s the main reason I was attracted here.
What are you most excited about at this school?
Diversity. I was the only teacher of color in my old school, so I feel very comfortable here. Right away I was invited by different Asian-American affinity groups and teacher groups. I can go out with them to have dinner or parties or something to get together. Right away, I got that kind of invitation, and I didn’t get those kinds of things when I was at the other school. It is a different community, and I find it very comfortable here. I like it.
What was it like being the only Chinese teacher in the entirety of your old school?
It was very stressful because I had to do a culture club, I had to take students to China, I had to do a Chinese NHS (National Honors Society), everything was about Chinese. Towards the end I was teaching six different classes, and there were 12 different levels within the six classes. So that’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to take a break from that, and come to Brookline High School. I am only teaching one class, so it is a break for me, it’s a breeze here. It’s really nice.
Is there anything specifically that you are nervous about?
This is my first time teaching at Public School, so if there’s something nervous about it, its to learn the culture. If you don’t build a positive relationship, anything can turn, go on a different track. So that’s something, if anything, that I’m worried about. That’s the only thing. Overall I’ve been teaching for over 20 years and I really like teaching students, so I don’t have any big problems.
Can you explain to me what led you to become a teacher?
I really like teaching because ever since I was a child, I would gather a bunch of younger little kids, and pretend to teach them. I would have a pointer stick and I would teach those kids something I had just learned at school. Those kids would just be sitting there quietly, looking at me, listening to me.