The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The importance of humor and reading for fun with Marcella Ramirez


Marcella Ramirez is a new English teacher who teaches English 6 at the JCC campus. It was wonderful to talk to her and Iearn about the importance of humor in teaching and reading books that are simply for fun, and not because they’re literary masterpieces. 


Who was your favorite of your teachers when you were a student? What impact did they have on you? 


Marcella Ramirez teaches English on the JCC campus. (Eve Snyder)

Her name was Miss Sheehan. She was my English teacher in high school in my last two years of high school, and it was because of her that I decided to then go on and study English in college. [I liked] her level of passion that she brought for the stuff that we were studying. I knew that she was genuinely interested in what she was teaching and the content of it, so it was really inspiring.


What books are on your nightstand and/or coffee table right now?


My stack of books is my nightstand. I’m definitely a bit of a book fiend. It’s hard to drag me out of a bookstore. But I can’t say that I end up reading them all cover to cover. I’ll pick and choose, and depending on my mood I’ll pick up different things. I definitely have some parenting books over there. 


I also have a lot of cookbooks. I tend to get hungry at night, so I will munch and read cookbooks and decide what I want to make in the coming weeks. And then I have some of those just entertainment books: Junk books where it’s the romance/murder mystery/set-in-some-exotic-country. I also love those ones where it is just kind of mind gunk.


What is the most impactful interaction you’ve had with a student? 


I think one of the highlights of my career was when I took a dozen rising ninth graders to Costa Rica for a week in the summer for a surf and yoga retreat. We lived like a little family for a week and we cooked all our own foods together and it was very real life. We were hanging out together and it was a wonderful way to see the people that just weren’t in these roles. That was probably a highlight of my career.


What is a “fan-favorite” part of your teaching style? In other words, what is it about your classes that students love? 


I would say I think I’m hilarious. I almost consider the classroom as my part time stand up comedy job. I couldn’t teach in a classroom that didn’t have laughter even if it’s me attempting to make the kids laugh. My humor is the biggest part and my ability to get them to be humorous.


When you were a little kid what did you want to be when you grew up?  


I wanted to be a midwife actually. My grandmother was a midwife. My mom was a nurse. I thought I would be a midwife. Maybe in a way I am still, helping to birth children in a different way.


What is your favorite piece of media and why? What impact did it have on you? 


It changes all the time. My favorite piece is “The Simpsons.” I grew up watching “The Simpsons,” and so there’s something nostalgic about it. I don’t think it’s aged very well. There’s a lot of things in it that in this day and age don’t fly. But it reminds me a lot of my childhood and feeling on that edge of like I’m old enough to watch “The Simpsons.”


What is one thing you are obsessed with right now? 


My most recent obsession was roller skating. I’d never been into roller skating as a kid and I took it up in my 40s because I guess I wasn’t falling enough. So I started roller skating and then I got really into it and bought a few pairs. It is fun and now I get to kind of be a little risky on roller skates.

This story is part of the series “Q&Avery” by Counterpoint on new teachers around the circle this school year.

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About the Contributors
Avery Neuner
Avery Neuner, Editor of Opinions
Avery Neuner ‘24 is the Editor of Opinions for Counterpoint. She has been writing for Counterpoint for three  years and has been a writer her whole life. In addition to journalism, she is a published author in short story and poetry.

Eve Snyder
Eve Snyder, Editor of Photography
Eve Snyder ‘24 is the Editor of Photography for Counterpoint. She enjoys creating still life and photomontage pictures, as well as taking portraits. When she’s not photographing, she’s rock climbing, making jewelry or painting her nails.

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