Jocelyn Mulligan O'Brien
Q: When and how did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?
A: Both my parents were teachers, so I grew up believing I would not ever be a teacher. I thought that until somewhere in the middle of college, when I was a history major, and I thought, “What am I going to do with this?” But those were the classes that I loved, and I realized all my jobs had something to do with working with young people, and that’s what I really liked and so somewhere in college it clicked that maybe I should stop fighting it and become a teacher.
Q: What do you think your strongest ability is when it comes to teaching?
A: I really care about the people in the room and how the class feels. So I hope that translates into students feeling important and valued and I think that’s the most important reason.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to start coaching volleyball?
A: I think I always knew because I was always obsessed with volleyball. After college and senior year I knew that I wasn’t done playing and being involved so I think I always knew that I’d be involved in coaching.
Q: What is the part of history that you enjoy teaching the most?
A: I love anything that’s related to Latin America, and I really enjoy teaching about the Cold War.
Q: How has teaching altered your perspective on being in a school environment?
A: I think I never realized how hard teachers work. Because as a student I had no idea; I think that’s the biggest one.
Q: What is the most interesting thing about you that most people don’t know?
A: I have cold induced urticaria. It’s actually an allergy to cold. So when we have fire drills in the cold and in the wind my skin gets really really red.
Q: If you could pick any point in your life to relive, when would it be and why?
A: It would be probably my junior year of college. I was on an amazing volleyball team with some of my best friends. I was roommates with my best friend in college. I was running the volleyball program and we were doing well. I was taking classes that I loved, because junior year you just take the classes you love. It felt like a cool time and I remember it well.
Q: What do you think your role here is at Tigard High?
A: Revolutionary. I think a little bit. I’m not an anarchist. I’m a revolutionary. To continue to fight for what I believe is right for our school and our students and teachers. To advocate for the people on the bottom of the social class pyramid. I would say, to fight the good fight.
Q: If you could sit down with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
A: I’m going to go with Che Guevara, because he was this revolutionary that mobilized people and it would be fascinating to talk to him about what that was like and how he thinks it turns out.