By Rohan Anne, Staff Reporter By the time Allison Long was cornered by a cow while on a bike ride in the cattle fields of the Virginia Creeper Trail, it was too late to moo-ve away. “There were cows in a stream on the right-hand side of the trail. The cows stopped drinking and they...
By Rohan Anne, Staff Reporter
By the time Allison Long was cornered by a cow while on a bike ride in the cattle fields of the Virginia Creeper Trail, it was too late to moo-ve away.
“There were cows in a stream on the right-hand side of the trail. The cows stopped drinking and they decided to all come on the path,” Long said. “I screamed, and I did not know whether to go faster or slow down, but I went faster, and I just missed running into them by just a couple of feet. I was terrified because cows are big animals. I thought I was literally going to get stampeded.”
When she’s not exploring new trails, Long teaches Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 AB at Conestoga. Long’s interest in teaching stemmed from the passion and uplifting nature of her own teachers, especially one teacher, Mr. Franks, who taught her for three years in high school.
“He had a flipped style of teaching where he would assign us to actually read the textbook and do homework that evening, and then come in with questions the next day,” Long said. “He really actually taught me how to understand math sort of on my own, but still was a vibrant and engaging teacher. And he was also a funny guy. He made math fun.”
Long grew up in Tobyhanna near the Poconos and majored in math at Penn State. After teaching for less than half a year in Massachusetts, she moved back to Pennsylvania and began working at Valley Forge Middle School, where she taught for 18 years before moving to Conestoga. Long also advises Key Club and believes that it provides an opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills.
“It (Key Club) is one of the largest clubs in the school, and this year, we have a record number of kids that are chartered members,” Long said. “Key Club is pretty much like a bunch of clubs rolled into one, and I work with the students to develop them into leaders.”
Outside of school, Long loves to be outdoors when the weather is nice, frequently partaking in family road trips to the mountains, biking on trails, hiking up mountains and visiting national parks. Long and her family members are avid Penn State football fans since her husband, oldest son and youngest son also went to Penn State. In the fall months, she likes to go to Penn State to visit friends and family and to watch the football games.
In the future, Long hopes to look for new ways for Key Club to expand its outreach and continue teaching algebra. For Long, the most important and best part of teaching is forming connections with students.
“If you cannot establish a rapport and relationship with your students, you’re not going to get anywhere. They’re going to respond to a relationship, and even when they are struggling, you will be able to help them and see them finally understand something,” Long said. “I realized more with COVID than ever when we were not getting a chance to meet our students, how wonderful it is this year to have students in front of us because they really are what inspires us.”
Rohan Anne can be reached at [email protected]
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