Rushing into her room, Mrs. Chamberlin sits down behind her desk. She pushes papers aside and gets her coffee ready. Being a math teacher, leading the Interact and Drama Club, and raising two children has made Mrs. Chamberlin very busy, but she still keeps everything organized - tidy stacks of paper, motivational posters hung on the walls. Like an audience waiting for the performance, the students’ desks circle around the front of the room, where Mrs. Chamberlin stands proudly every school day.
The view once looked very different for Mrs. Chamberlin. She spent 8 years aboard a cruise ship, traveling to Thailand, South America, Greece, Japan, the Caribbean, and Europe. She worked as a singer and social hostess on board, directing ping-pong tournaments, Bingo nights, and karaoke performances. Mrs. Chamberlin’s gift to perform has never left her side in any of these situations. She takes center stage with confidence and pride, knowing that this was where she was always meant to be.
Mrs. Chamberlin was not always set on one career path. In school, she loved math and physics, and planned to become an engineer. Once in college, she double majored in mathematics and music. After graduating from Connecticut College, Mrs. Chamberlin followed her dreams and became a professional actress for 15 years in New York. The Warner Theatre never left her mind: “I always knew that I would come back because I loved it so much.”
Most people at THS know Mrs. Chamberlin as an Algebra I, Pre-Calculus, and Drama teacher. But did you know that she continues to perform at the Warner Theatre? Did you know that she enjoys jazz music and has been in a couple of jazz bands? She is truly, as she herself says, “interesting and interested.”
These dual ideas, like her dual love of math and music, sum up her attitude towards teaching. She wants to express to her students that you do not have to choose between your interests in life; engaging with her student audience, she urges, “find out what your passions are and pursue them.”
Her two passions were brought together through the art of teaching. Mrs. Chamberlin can now be center stage and discuss her favorite subject in school in the very same class period. “I like that math is structured, so that makes drama challenging but fun...You never know what is going to happen in drama environments.” She has now been teaching for 13 years.
In the Warner Theatre productions, she still loves to perform and explore characters that are different from herself. Once in her classroom, however, she has the freedom to be the friendly, enthusiastic, and happy person that she is. As she sits back in her desk chair, smiling around the room, Mrs. Chamberlin answers assuredly, “I just think [teaching] was what I was born to do.”