Jamie Kim, staff writer
Second semester is always a change, whether it’s a different schedule or a blank slate in the gradebook. Accordingly so, the first day back from winter break was definitely a novel experience for one particular new face.
This new face happens to be Heather Klein, the long-term substitute who has taken over Jeff Berkeley’s math classes, as Berkeley teaches Edna Beroukhim’s classes. Klein just recently settled in Los Angeles, about 2,800 miles from her former home, Long Island, New York.
“I guess moving here was pretty unique. I just picked up and left. I left a job, my family and friends. [I moved for] personal reasons, more or less. I wanted a change of life. I was bored at home, I guess you can say,” Klein said.
Klein feels that her choice of moving here was ultimately a beneficial decision, despite the contrasts between Long Island and Los Angeles.
“I lived on Long Island, so it was super suburban. So, the difference here is just the dynamic of the people, the energy of the people and obviously the weather, which is ideal here,” Klein said. “I definitely like it better here because I feel like I’m in a city-like atmosphere. There’s just so much more to do, and I like being outside.”
Not only did she feel the variations between her hometown and her new home, but she also noticed dissimilarities in the classroom.
“I [turned a full] 180. I went from a low-poverty, socioeconomic area to Beverly Hills. The thing back with my kids at home was learning was a big deal, and [there were more] behavior problems, so it’s hard to compare because these are two totally different school atmospheres. But, kids are kids,” Klein said.
Her first day at Beverly, which happened to be the first day of second semester, went smoothly for Klein, as she felt welcomed into the Norman community.
“The students were pretty good; quiet and respectful. I came from not the best of schools at home, so every teacher was super nice. The principal was amazing, and everyone was very helpful and welcoming to me. It was definitely a warm welcome,” she said.
While she may be new here, Klein already has an extensive background in teaching, having taught high school math in New York for nine years.
“My favorite moments in teaching are when I have students come back to me the following year and tell me what an influence I’ve been on them, and how well they’re doing in math, how much I’ve affected their lives. That’s happened a lot for my kids at home. That’s why teaching has been very rewarding,” Klein said.