A Love of Language and Theater

Join us each Tuesday as we feature a short conversation with one of our exceptional faculty or staff members so that you can get to know a little bit about them.

Meet Middle School Humanities Teacher Ilana Long

Ilana is a member of the middle school humanities team and began teaching at EC in 2017. An educator since 1994, her favorite part of teaching is using interactive techniques and theater to explore literature with her students. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and earned her bachelor's degree in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside of school, Ilana enjoys hiking and long-distance swimming. What you might not know about her is that she has written a children's book titled "Ziggy's Big Idea" which was published in 2014, she studied improvisational comedy alongside Chris Farley at Second City in Chicago and also wrote some of the performer and artist clues for the board game Cranium. 
 

Q: What is the greatest success you've had with teaching? 
Students who reach out to me over the years and tell me that they have been inspired by me to become writers, active readers or are involved in theater. I’ve been teaching for more than 25 years, so many of my students have made careers out of the fields I teach.  

Q: Explain your experience with a particular teaching strategy or technology. 
I love to have students work in small groups and inspire each other. Microsoft Teams allows me to break the students into channels and have them work together before coming back to participate in a larger group discussion. In my drama class, we use Flipgrid to perform and respond to videotaped pantomimes and performance art challenges like performing “extreme housework!”

As facial expressions are so important in non-verbal communication, learning ASL would combine my love for language and theater.

Q: What movie would you rewatch if you were trapped on a desert island?
I could probably watch “The Princess Bride” another 16-75 times, depending on the quality of the desert island’s movie theater and whether or not there is air conditioning.”

Q: In which class at EC would you like to be a student for a day?
This year, we added American Sign Language (ASL) to our World Language Department. ASL interests me because signing is visual and kinetic. As facial expressions are so important in non-verbal communication, learning ASL would combine my love for language and theater.


If you have questions for Ilana, you can reach her at ilong@eastsidecatholic.org.

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