New Teacher Spotlight: Alecia Eschenbrenner
Crier: What are you passionate about?
Eschenbrenner: I’m passionate about rugby. I’ve been playing it for about 8-10 years. I started it in college. Now, I play professional rugby. I’m involved in a team named Chicago North Shore. Many times during the week and on the weekends I practice and play games. Before the pandemic, we used to travel to other states to play games.
Crier: What is something unique about you?
Eschenbrenner: I’m a thrill-seeker. I like doing things such as hiking, skydiving, or things that others say are “dangerous.” I’m trying to do exciting things and new things. I like to just see what’s out there. I also travel a lot out of the country. My goal is to see every country in the world.
Crier: Which countries have you visited before? Which countries would you like to visit in the future?
Eschenbrenner: So far I’ve had trips to Iceland, Mexico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and more. I lived in Spain for a little while to study abroad and visited other European countries on the weekends too. Last year I was supposed to go to New Zealand and Australia which I was really excited about. I always wanted to go to India or Japan. For rugby, we usually travel inside the U.S. such as Colorado, California, Georgia, New York, and more.
Crier: Why did you become a science teacher?
Eschenbrenner: Originally, my degree was in biomedical illustration, which is an art degree. And then halfway through, I switched it because I had to get a biology undergrad for that art degree. After doing enough of my bio degree, I thought, “I can’t sit at a desk by myself and just draw all the time.” I needed other people to be around me. So someone suggested teaching, and I tried it out, and I just liked it.
Crier: Why did you choose to teach specifically biology and earth science instead of other science subjects?
Eschenbrenner: I like biology a lot. I think it’s interesting how you get to learn about what’s going on within you or how you interact with the world around you. Similarly in earth science, I’ve never known so many random facts that have come in handy. I can walk outside now and tell people “Oh, do you know what that is?” I think it’s cool because you can see things happen in front of you all the time and it’s never hard to imagine. I especially like how I can use my knowledge when I go see various sites during my travels.
Crier: What is one thing that you keep in mind when teaching students?
Eschenbrenner: Especially this year, I feel like it’s important to keep in mind that everyone has a different perspective of where they’re coming from. In the past, I’ve taught ESL science classes. Since everyone has something to bring to the table, I just have to let them realize and respect each others’ differences. I think that the idea beyond the content of the people in the room at school is important.
Crier: Why should students take science classes?
Eschenbrenner: I always tell students to take science because they can learn something that’s relatable to them and can develop many skills that they don’t necessarily get in other classes. Students want to know how to critically think or how to solve problems or math, reading, and more. In science, you get a little bit of all those abilities that set you up well in life. Science really prepares you well for life.
Crier: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
Eschenbrenner: I would probably do art. That has always been my backup. I don’t know if I have the self-motivation to always be out there and constantly hunt for jobs, but I feel like art or becoming a professional athlete would always be cool options.
Crier: Do you have any advice for students?
Eschenbrenner: My advice would be to make sure you have a good time in high school. Do not stress yourself out so much about your grades. You’re going to get whatever grade you’re going to get. Be involved in the school, make friends, and have a good time because you can’t go back and re-do High School. If you spend all of your time worrying about grades, then you’re missing out on all this other stuff that’s going on.