Q&A with Mrs. Post

After 20 years, math and special education teacher Mrs. Post retires from Los Al


District office representative

Mrs. Post with her student Samantha Moody, one of four students who won the Scholastic All-Star Award in about 2013. 

Bella Kim, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Mrs. Post has been part of Los Alamitos Unified School District for 27 years, and she has been a Griffin for 20 years. She has taught English, reading, special education, and math. Before saying goodbye to Los Alamitos High School, Mrs. Post spoke with the Griffin Gazette and gave some last words of wisdom to her students.

The following interview was conducted over email and has been edited and condensed.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

When I was little, I would entertain myself by playing “school.” I would pretend my name was Miss Lee (a favorite teacher of mine) and make a math test, then pretend I was a student and take the test. Finally, I was the teacher again grading the math test. 

As I grew older, I thought I wanted to be an architect, then I thought being an accountant would make a lot of money. After working for an accountant and hating it and then in retail, when my kids were in school I saw a job flying at the district for an instructional assistant and thought, “Wouldn’t that be great to work at a school?” I got the job at Oak and loved it, later transferring to Los Al and eventually taking a job as the records clerk so I could get benefits.  

Although I loved that job, I missed the classroom. Then one day Mrs. Ricks (who worked in the College and Career Center at that time) saw a flier in the copy room about finishing bachelor degrees at Concordia University. We both didn’t finish college and decided that together, we could do this, and we did. Now Mrs. Ricks is a counselor, and I finally became the teacher I always wanted to be when I was little!

Why did you decide to retire?

I’ve been thinking about retirement for a while. I’m also an education specialist, which requires many meetings each year and lots of paperwork. It can be a bit exhausting. I originally wanted to retire in 2020, but the pandemic changed my plans as my husband was laid off. I’m glad I stayed and took my teaching to the next technological level.

What will you miss most about teaching?

I will miss seeing students grasp something they thought they couldn’t. Math can be very stressful for people, and reducing that stress so they can learn is extremely satisfying. 

What’s your favorite memory from teaching at Los Al?

One of my favorite memories is actually from my English class. I was showing “Forrest Gump,” and I stopped the movie where they show Captain Dan’s ancestors in every war and thought, “Teachable moment.” When the revolutionary soldier falls into the snow after being shot, I asked, “What war is this?” in which a very eager student replied, “The Cold War!” I had a hard time staying in my seat and not laughing my you-know-what off.

What’s the hardest part about teaching?

Individualized Educational Plans for students with disabilities. These plans are very important but also very long and rely on a lot of input from other teachers, which isn’t always easy to obtain.

What advice do you have for your students?

I went to Los Al but tested out early so I could go to community college my junior year. I thought I was getting ahead, but actually, I was missing out on being a kid. Enjoy school, it’s really a small percentage of your life by the time you retire. Don’t give up, even when it seems tough.  If you are patient and open to support, you can do it!