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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Q&A with SA's New Middle School English Teacher Chelsea Begg

9 Questions with Chelsea BeggChelsea is happy to return to the region after spending the last several years teaching middle school English at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville in Florida. In addition to her school-year teaching, Chelsea also taught for two summers with Rustic Pathways as a program leader in Thailand and Cambodia, building on her Rustic Pathways experiences as a volunteer in Costa Rica, Peru, and Cambodia.

A graduate of Shady Side Academy, Chelsea has a B.A. in Writing & Rhetoric and English, magna cum laude, from William Smith College in Geneva, New York. She also attended the Exeter Humanities Institute at Phillips Exeter where she was introduced to the Harkness method of instruction, which seeks to empower students to lead class discussions and take greater responsibility for their learning. Chelsea is a great believer that it is important for students to understand that their voices matter.

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

CB: Pittsburgh is home, and I have always wanted to come home. Sewickley gave me the perfect opportunity to be closer to my family and to continue doing what I love in a welcoming, supportive, and close-knit community. At Sewickley Academy, it is clear that I can pursue my passions while sharing them with my students and my coworkers, too!

SA: What motivated you to become a teacher?

CB: As a student, I always connected most with reading and writing. I found them to be good avenues for self exploration and tools to learn about the world. Reading and writing fueled so many of my own interests and hobbies growing up, and I teach so that my students can have that same experience.

SA: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

CB: The moments I enjoy most are the moments when students connect with what they are studying. It is really fun to see a middle school student get excited about a topic and begin to explore it further.

SA: What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class(es)?

CB: I want my students to know that learning is an ongoing process and that education does not stop when they leave Sewickley Academy. My goal is to give my students the tools they need to be lifelong learners, and I am hopeful that they will walk away from seventh grade English knowing that mistakes are inevitable, but how they respond to those mistakes is important. There is always room for reflection and growth.

SA: How do you keep current with the subject areas you cover?

CB: I keep current in my subject by reading a lot. I am always looking for a new book! I also attend reading and writing conferences that help me develop new strategies for best practice.

SA: What was your favorite book as a child?

CB: I remember becoming really excited about reading when I studied "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles in my middle school English class.

SA: What is your favorite book as an adult?

CB: I just finished "Educated" by Tara Westover, and I absolutely loved it.

SA: What are some of your interests/hobbies?

CB: Some of my hobbies include hiking, writing, yoga, traveling, and cooking.

SA: What are you looking forward to this school year?

CB: I'm really looking forward to getting to know the Sewickley community. Everyone has been so kind and welcoming, and I cannot wait to become more involved as I become familiar with the school and all that it has to offer.

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Topics: Faculty