Teacher Feature — Becky Chill


Where are you from?   

Connecticut (Eastern half)

Where did you go to college?                                 

University of Connecticut

What was your college major?                                


What made you want to become a teacher?             

I got a Masters Degree in Modern European History.   It took me almost 8 years to complete because my kids were so young at the time.  When I finally  finished I had to decide what to do with that degree.  I contemplated several careers but finally settled on teaching.  Since I started down that path, I have not regretted it.

What did you do before you were a teacher?

When I graduated from college I worked in the field of social work.  My first job was at Planned Parenthood.  Then I worked for five years for Big  Brothers/Big Sisters.  My last job was working for a food bank that supplied local food pantries.  When I had my first child, I stopped working and was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years.  I wanted a career in which I could combine my love of history and work with kids.  I really love elementary school kids, but I wanted to teach history.  What I have found is that there isn’t much difference between elementary school kids and high school kids.  I mean that in a good way.  While not all high school students are adorable all the time, most are adorable at least some of the time (and some, all the time).  When I look past the facial hair and the adult height, I can see that a kid still lives inside most students.

How long have you been a teacher?                          

This is my 3rd year.

What is your favorite part about being a teacher?           

I love seeing the students succeed, especially when they stumble along the way, and get back up and keep on going.  I find myself doing a lot of math with my students.  Students often start giving up when they see their grade start to drop. I love it when I do the math with a student, and convince them that it isn’t over yet, there is still time to improve a grade, or a GPA.  

What is the most challenging part about being a teacher?    

Finding ways to teach students who are exhibiting behaviors that indicate that they have absolutely no interest in learning.

What is your favorite memory of West Potomac?       

I gave several detentions to one boy student when he was in my 9th grade class. When I saw him during the 1st week of his 10th grade year, he approached me with a big smile and said hello.  He asked how my summer went.  He is now in 11th grade, and every time he sees me he smiles and says hello.  I feared I had created an enemy, but I believe instead I have created a pretty special bond.  By all accounts he is  doing great this year!

What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher?         

Seeing the students graduate.  When I see them graduate, I always cry, which is very embarrassing.  But teachers know the kinds of struggles and challenges that students face along the way, as well as the many happy moments of triumph and success.  And I know that a lot of teachers  would agree with me that we love our students more than they know.  To see them graduate with big smiles on their faces is extremely  gratifying. Seeing them graduate always brings on a flood of memories, which brings on a flood of tears!