Alicia Biel

First Grade Teacher

Years as a Camper: 4 years 2012-2015

Years as a Staff Member/Positions held: 2017 - A&C Chief, Cabin 26 Counselor, 2016 - Cabin 28 Counselor

Years as a Professional Staff Member/Positions held: 2018 - Waterfront Coordinator

Current Profession and Title/Years in role: First Grade Teacher, first year

Can you provide a brief overview of your job responsibilities?

I teach a wide range of first graders the state standards. This involves creating lesson plans, attending meetings, and making sure all my students' needs are being met academically and emotionally. 

What is it like being a first-year teacher during the pandemic? Did anything you learned at Camp help you navigate this?

Being a first-year teacher during a pandemic is no joke. You have students out due to quarantine and staff shortages so you have to be very adaptable. This is a skill I definitely thank Camp for. Camp is the type of job where you step in and help out where it is needed and that is very similar to teaching. You roll with the situation and do what is best for the kids! 

Do you have any career advice for members of our Camp community, especially those looking to become teachers?

Camp is a great way to figure out if you like working with kids! I know it seems silly but so many of my friends were so excited to be teachers than realized they did not enjoy working with kids. In a profession like teaching, you are going to hear a lot about how teachers are underpaid. Do not let that scare you! If you genuinely enjoy what you are doing I promise it will work out! 

What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments? Is there a goal toward which you are currently working?

Right now being a first year teacher through a pandemic is something I am really proud of myself for. I am looking at the possibility of teaching abroad in the next couple years! 

How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life?

As a teacher you make about 1000 decisions a day from “Ms. Biel can I have a drink of water” to deciding if a student needs to be retaught a whole concept. You have to be quick on your feet and adaptable. Camp has helped me be confident in my own thinking and choices to make sure I am always putting what's best for my kids first. 

Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you?

Not a person but an activity. I had the privilege to teach Beginning Swim at Kanata for three years. It was my favorite because even if a camper did not get a new swim band color, watching their confidence and attitude toward the water shift was so inspiring. They would work so hard for that week and at the end I was so proud of what they accomplished. Now, I am in a job where the work is hard but when you get a “light-bulb moment” and it clicks for the students it makes the hard times so worth it. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

It is super cliche but do not worry about what other people think. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self even with the smallest things. Everybody is always going to have an opinion but stay true to who you are and use that to guide your thinking and choices. 

Favorite Camp meal: Blueberry Scones 

Favorite dining hall or flagpole song: Red Hot 

All-time favorite skit memory: Any time Emma Berg and Heidi Kreis wrote a skit we knew it would be funny 

Favorite evening program at Camp: Talent Show 

Devotion you best remember from Camp: Glow Stick Devo

If you had to have an intro song every time you walked into a room what would it be?  Burnin’ Up by the Jonas Brothers

Do you have a hidden talent? I don’t know if this counts haha but, I am a total book nerd and can read a book pretty quickly 

What three words best describe you? Passionate, empathetic, fun 

Kanata Alumni