‘Familiar’ faces at school cause special relationships

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Alice Salgado de Almeida Leme

Having family members go to or work at the same school can often lead to these scenarios. “Teachers always make the effort to point out when they had my sister as a student,” Petra Kishi Chow said.

“Oh! You’re his brother right?” 

“Mr. or Mrs.?” 

“I’m sorry, you two just look too similar.” 

These are the words many students and faculty members hear when they go to school together. Whether it’s a sibling, cousin, or even parent, many students and teachers go to school with their family members. 

“We have really bonded over the last year,” said Petra Kishi Chow, a sophomore. “It’s like having another friend with a better excuse to talk to.”

Going to school or working together usually affects the relationships between one another. Often it can bring members together; other times, conflict arises. No matter what, having a family member at school affects lifestyles drastically

“We have always been pretty close, but it is nice to connect and find commonality and discuss our roles as educators,” said Marcus Beltramo, a history teacher whose cousin, Nicholas Beltramo, is another teacher at Carlmont.

Having an older sibling may seem only advantageous, but there are some disadvantages as well. After teaching one of the siblings, teachers might form expectations for the next sibling that can be hard to meet.

“Teachers always make the effort to point out when they had my sister as a student. It does put a lot of pressure on me to do extremely well,” Petra Kishi Chow said.

Being teachers, we have the same breaks and holidays off from work. We have traveled together [to] Ireland and Italy a few years back.”

— Marcus Beltramo

Another type of relationship is that of twins. Often, meeting twins can be confusing at first, especially when they are identical twins, like Samantha Niles and Sydney Niles, who are both sophomores.

“People sometimes confuse me with my twin. If they do, it’s usually classmates or teachers but never friends,” Sydney Niles said.

This isn’t a problem that only twins face, as having the same last name can commonly lead to misunderstandings. This is often the case with the two Beltramo’s, as students and staff confuse them.  

“During Flex time, students will sign up for one of us mistakenly,” Marcus Beltramo said. “I have [also] received emails meant for the other Beltramo.”

Having an older or more experienced person as a guide is extremely helpful, as they can provide information about what is expected. 

“Marcus was here before me so it really made my transition [to Carlmont] a lot smoother with his support,” Nicholas Beltramo said.

Having a sibling who is in the same class, or has taken the same class, can be helpful when studying and working on homework. Siblings can ask each other for help and advice or work together for more effective studying. The University of Essex did one study that showed how students with older siblings who graduated had a higher chance of graduating themselves.

Teachers always make the effort to point out when they had my sister as a student. It does put a lot of pressure on me to do extremely well.”

— Petra Kishi Chow

“My sister and I had two of the same classes together last year during online learning,” Sydney Niles said. “Being able to work together was helpful.”

Older siblings can also be ashamed and embarrassed by their younger siblings and not want them to be around them and their friends, but ultimately, siblings have a bond that can’t be broken.

“Sometimes Petra can be embarrassing,” Trinity Kishi Chow said. “But she’s always welcome to hang out with my friends.”