Secret Life of Teachers: Mrs Mcgill

A Math Teacher who’s an Actress and Author


San Dimas High School has a ton of amazing teachers but here’s one that has acted and written an educational book before, presenting Mrs. Mcgill. She is a freshman math teacher as well as a sophomore and junior math teacher here and loves her job. Mcgill has been teaching at San Dimas for five years and in the Bonita Unified District for ten years. She’s previously taught in Michigan for nine years. Mcgill also taught English Language Arts in her first year. 

She never struggled in math growing up,  “I had no idea that I was going to become a math teacher but then, I had a really good math teacher in eleventh grade and she really made it all click for me and then from then on I just started to love math,” she explains. Mcgill learned that she loved teaching in her twelfth grade year because of a certain career prep center at her high school. She became a part-time preschool teacher and from then on she learned how to be a teacher. Mcgill states, “On Tuesdays and Thursdays we had kids come in, so I learned how to be a teacher for kids, then I realized that I liked kids and I wanted to be a teacher and that I like math so then, I wanted to become a math teacher”. 

She moved from Michigan to California a decade ago because she wanted to start fresh and so she applied to teaching jobs out here and landed the Bonita Unified district one. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to move to California and teach but act during the summer for bigger roles,” Mcgill states. She had previously taught the WEB program for her old school back in Michigan but since she had visited Temecula to train for the program she had fallen in love with California. Since Mcgill had wanted just a new start, she loved California already so she had thought about applying for a math teacher position here in Southern California.  “I thought you know what, it’s a shot in the dark, but they’re hiring math teachers in Bonita Unified and Burbank Unified. Then, I applied to both and I put in my cover letter that I had a successful nine year career in Michigan but I was moving to California. I ended up flying in and interviewing twice and I got the position. Now here I am in Bonita Unified’. Although it was a drastic change for her with leaving family behind, she does love the weather here compared to Michigan. 

Mcgill has also partook in many different commercials and had been extras for some movies such as the Transformers‒ although they sadly had to cut out her scene. “It was cool, I enjoyed it. I really liked being on set and meeting new people and being different characters, I thought it was super fun,” Mcgill states when describing her experience as being an actress. Back in her high school years, she was a part of the drama club and was a part of a program at her school called TAP. She has loved acting and has always been drawn to it since she was in eighth grade. In previous school plays she’s played a ghost of Christmas past and Glenda the Good Witch of the North. She then got an agent and took acting classes in Michigan then got headshots. A cool fact is that Mcgill got to be in a commercial with former NBA star, Magic Johnson. “I did insurance commercials and local stuff too that would air in Michigan,” Mcgill states. She is also in another movie that is currently on Netflix right now called Sister Code. Mcgill explains, “I also did a bunch of low budget movies back in Michigan, that are just not even out there. They were just for me to grow as an actress”. Although they weren’t as big they’d play in local theaters and she had a ton of fun filming those indie movies or short films. But, she was a featured extra in a movie called Chef with Sofía Vergara. “I was a featured extra so, I literally ordered a taco from her from a taco cart,” she explains. 

Not only did Mcgill act, but she also wrote her own math books and self-published them. Her math books are called Math Labs and Mathatific Method and she had written it because, “I felt like there wasn’t any math curriculum that met the needs of what I felt my students needed and I wanted them to be like a mathematician and look for a pattern and discover math”  she expresses. She had thought about the idea about fifteen years ago and published the books five years ago.“So I thought of this idea where they discover math through tables and patterns and they come up with equations and formulas on their own so they are on the seat of discovering math like a mathematician” she says when describing her thought process in her books.  Mcgill shares them at math conferences with teachers. She is currently in around seventy or eighty classrooms around the United States including New York, Nevada, and a lot of California and Michigan. Mcgill states, “It took six years to write and six months to publish because I started my own self-publishing company and self published”. She opened up her own Amazon store where she puts children’s books she’s published and soon to put on her own books. 

Over the years, Mcgill has loved that being a teacher means that she interacts with more and more students and gets to know them and their personalities. “Students are the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing, I just happen to be teaching the subject of mathematics but they are the reason and they are the fun part of my day,” Mcgill explains. She loves hearing students’ jokes and she loves seeing their eyerolls when she tells her cheesy fun math jokes. As much as she loves math, she also enjoys teaching English. “I enjoy teaching english actually like essays, literary devices and creative writing,” she states.