Mrs. Scotti: “When I was a kid, I really liked playing teacher”

Mrs. Scotti, our 7th grade English teacher, gives us insight into her career with this interview.

Interview by Ella Erez – 7th grade.


What made you decide to become an English teacher?

When I was a kid, I really liked playing teacher. I used to line up all the little kids and teach them. I really wanted to be a teacher but my parents didn’t think it was a good enough career for me. They wanted me to pursue something else that I was interested in, like ornithology (the study of birds.) Then, when I grew up, I became a model and an actress, and I just started writing. When my daughter was in 4th grade, I didn’t like her teachers. I kept thinking that I could do a better job than them. I decided to get a job in teaching and I did do a better job than them! And I stuck with it. That was about 20 years ago.

What were your main inspirations for your novel Big And Bad, published in 2020?
I had been interested in animals and in trying to prevent animal cruelty for a long time. I know that dog fighting is a big problem right here in LA, people don’t think it exists but it does: people have rings just like the one in Big And Bad. I thought that my book could raise awareness. I also donated my first $1,000 in royalties to animal rescue. 

Are you planning to publish anything new soon?

Yes, I have a thriller coming out in November, it’s not really appropriate for your age, but I think 10th graders and up can read it. It takes place in the 90s here in LA, it’s called LA Winter. I also have some poetry coming out soon. 

What made you want to come to LILA?

I had been interested in LILA for a long time, but I lived in Santa Monica and it was too far for me to drive. I had gotten an inquiry from Emmanuel Bonin, who used to co-head Middle School. He asked me many times to come up for an interview and I always said it was too far. Then my landlord sold my house, and I couldn’t rent it anymore. So I thought that that would be a good chance to check out LILA and come up here. I loved it although the Burbank campus wasn’t open yet. The middle and high school was still in Los Feliz (at the time, Los Feliz had students from preschool to 12th, until LILA bought in Burbank and moved 6th and up here). But I came up here and saw the campus and I just thought it would be really exciting to be in on something new. This was 10 years ago. I was hired the year before LILA opened the Burbank campus, and my first year teaching was when this building opened.

What was your favorite novel growing up?

That’s easy, it was All-Of-A-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. She wrote a series about these little Jewish girls growing up at the turn of the century in New York, and how their lives were really interesting. They were really, really poor, and I loved books about poor people managing to find ways to live, like how the kids had to work. I remember one time, one of the kids lost a library book, and it was like a family tragedy because they had no way to pay back the book. I also liked Little House In The Big Woods

If you were not a teacher or author, which profession would you choose?

I would go back and stick with it and become a model and actress. I think I was very good at it and really, really enjoyed it. But it’s a very hard life. I kind of wimped out and gave up. 

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