Employed for the past 16 years with APS, Ms. Chiu is a reading specialist and the lead English Language Arts teacher at Swanson. During her tenure with APS Ms. Chiu has also worked at Hoffman Boston Elementary School and Gunston Middle School. Ms. Chiu also worked with AmeriCorps and taught English at universities in Beijing, China, and Hong Kong.
Tennis is Ms. Chiu’s favorite sport. “Most people know that I eat, sleep, and drink tennis. It is one of the only sports I know how to play. I love the strategy and teamwork involved in competition. Currently I am coming back to the sport from an injury. “
Ms. Chiu was the oldest in her in my family, leaving her to help take care of her younger siblings and her cousins. “Once I learned how to speak and read English, I would come home and run a “one room schoolhouse,” teaching my younger family members the alphabet and how to behave in school.”
When asked how she keeps herself motivated Ms. Chiu replied, “Teaching can be stressful especially during these uncertain times. I stay motivated by staying connected with my family, continually collaborating with colleagues, and building relationships with students and families. In gathering student feedback (in person or virtually), I can tinker lessons to improve understanding and engagement. I also stay up to date with current book titles and best practices by participating in online teaching communities. I aim to read a book a week and plan to write in November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge and March’s Slice of Life daily blogging challenge. These experiences help me truly understand how it feels to be a student, and in figuring out ways to improve my own literacy, I can be a more effective reading and writing teacher.”
What makes Ms. Chiu’s day? “Pre-pandemic, I absolutely loved it when students came back to visit. These surprise encounters would make my day because I got to hear these amazing young people reflect on how they have grown since middle school. Now more than ever, joy hides in the connections we make with one another. Virtual school can be challenging, but I am heartened by the different and creative ways we can share and connect, like meeting the family dog or enjoying student artwork. I am so proud of my students for their strength and resilience.”
Ms. Chiu would give the following advice to those aspiring to be in a similar role, “Be an attentive listener with an open mind and own up to and approach mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.”