Interview with Ms. Hagan: English Teacher Extraordinare

Ms. Hagan, an East Brunswick Native, speaks on her experience as an English teacher and her perspective on getting back into the swing of things post-virtual schooling.


Celia Schmeidler

Ms. Hagan appreciates how “the books we read teach us how to handle the real obstacles that we all face.”

Celia Schmeidler, Bear Hub Staff

Ms. Hagan teaches AP Literature, English 10, Flex and Public Speaking.

Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: 15 years

Q: What attracted you to teach in the English Department?
A: When I first went to school I was tied between art and English. I loved writing and getting to be creative but hated reading. I wanted to pair that love with real relationships and did not want to be in a cubicle. Empathy and a desire for connection drew me to teaching while creativity, stemming from my appreciation for art, drew me to English.

Q: How have you been affected by block scheduling?
A: I think September was overwhelming at first. I felt like I couldn’t get a handle on things like how to make my lesson plans work in a longer period of time. I think that I got used to pacing myself better in November. The 82 minute periods can be tiring but I’ve grown to appreciate only four classes in one day instead of eight; it is easier to focus on one thing rather than many.

Q: What makes East Brunswick so special to you? What keeps you coming back?
A: It’s definitely family and community that I love most about East Brunswick. I also love that we are so close to the beach, city, and a great variety of different settings. East Brunswick is just full of interesting people, including the English teachers who are highly entertaining to work with.

Q: What do you appreciate most about being back in person?
A: Everything. Virtual school was brutal. I became a teacher because I love face to face interaction. I almost cried on the first day because I was so excited to be back. It was so draining to talk to a black universe so getting to be back in person is amazing.

Q: Why is English so important to learn?
A: It comes down to understanding human behavior through our characters and learning from their experiences. The books we read teach us how to handle the real obstacles that we all face. Literature continuously brings up all these real life moments that we can talk about which is why discussions in English classrooms are so different than any other subject.