New Teacher Spotlight: Alexandra Case

Arthur Millet

The Echo met with Alexandra Case, new 8th grade social studies teacher, to talk about her passions and her transition to living in the country after growing up in the city. 

Echo: Where did you work prior to being at Mount Greylock?

Alexandra Case: I just graduated college in May, so this is my first year teaching, but in college I was required to be a student teacher so I worked at Norton High School which is a lot more east of here. I taught 9th grade world history and 10th grade American history. I was also an assistant indoor track & field coach which we don’t have here at Greylock. 

E: Where did you attend college?

AC: I went to Wheaton College, Massachusetts. It’s closer to Providence, RI, then it is to Boston, and it’s right next to the Xfinity Center and pretty close to Gillette Stadium. It’s really, really small.

E: What have you enjoyed about teaching at Mount Greylock so far? 

AC: Everyone here is super nice and it’s really chill here and I’m very much enjoying that. I also can’t complain – I love the brand new school and I know a lot of teachers across the United States don’t have access to a new building with a bunch of supplies; that can make teaching a lot more difficult if you don’t have adequate supplies on top of dealing with students. I love that the people I work with are super kind and that the area is so gorgeous. Norton is the flattest town in Massachusetts, so it’s super cool being here now.

E: What made you interested in social studies & history?

AC: I’ve always loved learning about history; I’ve always found it fascinating to learn about the world and how things developed. When I was a senior in high school, I signed up for AP European History and nobody else signed up so they canceled the class, but I had made such a good connection with my history teacher from my tenth grade year that she made an independent study, so I was the only person in my high school of 1500 students to take the AP European History Exam. I think that being a more informed citizen, you contribute more positively to your environment. You know the mistakes of the past, and you can work to change them. But if you don’t know that, you don’t know how to make things better and improve, and I love to do that and impose that on my students.

E: What is your favorite country, civilization, or era to teach about?

AC: My favorite era to teach, and I actually took an entire class on this era in college, is Europe from about 1914 – 1945. I love teaching about the wars but especially from the European standpoint. My other major in college was history, but I had to pick a concentration, so I chose European history. I love it because you get the whole story of the wars, because the United States wasn’t involved completely in those. That’s my favorite era to teach. There’s so much more European history. America is still very young, and the rest of the world has been around for way longer and has had so much more happen. The US is very important obviously, but we need to pay a little more attention to what happened way before.

E: What are your hobbies and interests besides social studies?

AC: I love to do those puzzles; I get those variety puzzle books at CVS and Walgreens and I do them all the time. They’re like my favorite things. It’s super nerdy but it goes along with liking social studies. I love puzzles. I love running; I was a sprinter so I don’t really run on my own because I don’t run long distances but coaching is one of my passions, so I’m a cross country coach here which has been really great.

E: How have you enjoyed living in the area so far?

AC: I live in Williamstown and it’s one of the biggest culture shocks to me because I was from a city just south of Boston, a city with over 100,000 people and a public transportation system, and I was a 15 minute train ride from Boston. I’ve been to four Sox games. It’s just a bit of an adjustment but I’m really liking it because everything that I need is all on one road, but then there really is nothing else after that for 30 more miles, but I have everything that I need here. Plus, cities smell weird but it always smells like nature here and I love that. There’s nothing like coming up the hill to Mount Greylock and seeing the mountains; it amazes me every single time and I’ve only been living here for a month and I still love it. I love how everybody knows everybody here; it felt like a community just as I was starting out here.