Faculty Profile: Alexandra “Ally” Glass-Katz

Alexandra “Ally” Glass-Katz, Seventh-Grade English Teacher

Ally grew up in Berkeley. She’s been teaching for four years, and loves working with young people. “ I think teaching English Literature helps make young people able to critically look at problems and address them in a positive way.” She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Bowdoin College and her M.F.A. in Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. However, she says that when she was growing up, she did not like English class until she attended a Creative Writing class in college that led to her love of English Literature. “I understand students who are not interested in analytical writing, and I love working with students who aren’t that excited about books. I really do think that reading makes us more empathetic and better critical thinkers. I think that’s really important to teach right now.” 
 
Ally chose Burke’s because she loves that it’s a gender-inclusive all-girls’ school. “I’m really thrilled to be working with the other teachers on the Humanities team. The big draw is that it’s gender inclusive, and that there are 400 ways to be a Burke’s student.”
 
One of her favorite teaching moments is when a student gets excited after understanding something new about a text. “A huge part of English is learning to use your voice. We’re constantly consuming content--that’s how most of us enjoy the world. It’s fun to be able to close read, whether it’s literature, text messages, or TV shows, understanding subtext gives everything a lot more depth.”
 
She also loves group discussions, and when books tie into current events or history in ways where she can use texts to illuminate something students haven’t learned. And of course, her favorite classroom activity is “anything creative writing.”
 
In her free time, Ally likes to hang out with Buster, her golden retriever. One of their favorite places to walk is Ocean Beach. “Buster is very shy, and is only friendly to people with snacks.” Ally loves to hang out with her family in Berkeley, and to spend time running and camping. 
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