Medical Careers Program welcomes new teacher London Mackey


Edena Ichel, Mirada Staff

After owning and running her own company that worked with doctors to help get drugs on the market for over 10 years, Medical Careers teacher London Mackey decided that she wanted to become a teacher.

 “I was interested in education because I’ve always taught others throughout my job experiences and I think that after settling in, I could show students how amazing and interesting medicine is,” said Mackey. 

She didn’t know quite where to start until she learned about a program called CTE, Career and Technical Education, that placed her at Rio at the start of last year.  

“I was looking for a position to become a biology teacher and then I found out that CTE existed for people who had been in medicine for at least three years, which I qualified for,” said Mackey.

Although Mackey knew her first year teaching was going to be a difficult one, full of challenges because of COVID, she went into the year with a positive attitude. However, one of the many challenges that she would soon face came earlier than expected. 

“On my very first day teaching, my zoom didn’t work, so the principal had to come on and spend the entire day listening to me teach online,” said Mackey. “Looking back, it was just so funny and strange how things could go sideways so quickly.” 

From teaching her seniors over zoom how to take blood pressures to preparing them to become Certified Medical Assistants, Mackey quickly adapted to the circumstances of being a first-year teacher online. However, she felt that the most important aspect of being a teacher–forming connections and interacting with students–was missing, and the whole experience sometimes seemed like a crazy dream.

“When I was teaching on zoom I felt like if I ever woke up at a hospital and they told me I was in a coma, it would make sense to me,” said Mackey. “Talking to tiny boxes on a screen just didn’t feel real.”

When in-person school opened back up last April, Mackey had to readjust all over again, both to being a teacher and working at the school, as she had only been on campus twice before. 

This year, now in person full-time, Mackey still learns something new every day but enjoys being back. 

“I have to keep reminding myself that I’m still new even though I started last year, since this is my first full year at school and on campus,” said Mackey. “We all need to cut each other some slack, though I think that applies all the time and not just in this situation.” 

After last year, Mackey takes teaching day by day and loves seeing her students “being funny and real,” even if it may distract from class every now and then.