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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Teachers of the Month show passion, compassion

By Sophia Pu | Staff Writer

OUTSTANDING TEACHERS  Lovelyn Chang (left), Jessica Magaña (center), and Scott Brummett have all been named Teacher of the Month by ASB.

   Though they teach vastly different classes, physical education teacher Scott Brummett, Spanish teacher Jessica Magaña, and English teacher Lovelyn Chang are all committed to their subject, caring towards their students, and creative in their teaching.

   Nominated as one of two November Teachers of the Month, Brummett began teaching at Gabrielino High School in 1994. Since then he has taught woodshop, drafting, math, physical education, and weight training. Though it has been 27 years, Brummett maintains the same love for teaching as he did on day one.

   “[My favorite part of being a teacher is the] interaction with the students,” Brummett shared. “And it really brought it to fruition when we were on Zoom. […] I think a lot of those students have come back with that appreciation for the teacher-student relationship, so in my classes this year, I’ve got some that are as good as I’ve ever had.”

   Brummett’s enthusiasm for connecting with others is what students look forward to in his classes.

   “He makes PE really fun, I don’t dread it as much as I would before,” laughed sophomore Abbygail Chai. “He jokes around with the students so it’s a fun environment to be in.”

   Magaña, elected as November Teacher of the Month for the world languages department, shares Brummett’s dedication to making her class enjoyable.

   “She is super sweet and caring,” described Ava Yamashita, freshman. “She checks in on us to make sure we are content […] She also can never fail to give us a good laugh. Also, she makes us feel welcomed with her daily greetings.”

   Magaña immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was ten years old. Her experience learning English is what she hopes to carry over to teaching her students Spanish now.

   “I loved how patient my ELD teachers were with me,” reflected Magaña. “Now it’s so awesome to teach others Spanish using different tools and strategies.”

   For Magaña, teaching Spanish is as much about student growth as it is about the language.

   “I wanted to become a teacher since I was in middle school because I wanted to help others learn a language that is so precious to me,” Magaña explained. “Spanish for me it’s not just a language, it’s part of my culture and identity as a Mexican American.”

   Chang was voted as October Teacher of the Month. Around her classroom, students’ essays are stapled alongside craft projects and motivational posters. For her, engaging all five senses through discussions, artwork, and reader’s theater is key to making class interesting. 

   “When they come in, I want them to actually talk to each other [and] interact with others,” Chang explained. “When people lack social interaction, then it’s like there’s a part of them that’s missing.”

   Chang also expands students’ perspectives through thought-provoking discussions.

   “She takes [analyzation] into a very deep level that allows you to critically think about the books you’re reading,” gushed senior Hana Thai. “The way she explained [the books we read] was very profound and inspiring.”

   During Embedded Time, Chang’s classroom is a symphony of Mandarin Chinese, English, and laughter as student tutors help English Language Learners with their assignments.

   Chang remembers being insecure about her own English and feeling like she did not belong after immigrating to California from the Philippines at age 12.

   “A lot of what I do now,” began Chang, “I keep in mind people who may have experienced culture shock, people who are adjusting, or who may struggle just fitting in. It’s a big deal for me to be watching out for these students.”

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Teachers of the Month show passion, compassion