The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Staff Profile: Susan Gold teaches through mindfulness

Sienna Reinders
Gold strikes her gong to lead her students through meditation exercises.

As students pile into their seats, Susan Gold instructs everyone to take a few deep breaths. Then, after a strike of her gong that sits atop her desk, students are told to use their five senses, listening to the ringing of the gong until the room is once again silent.

The students in room T2 start every class in a different way than most. Rather than jumping right into learning material, students are guided through breathing exercises before starting their BTI English class.

“When I strike the gong, they listen to the sound, see if you notice when the vibrations disappear, notice other sounds in the room, notice the quality of the lights, and just those kinds of sensory experiences. So we feel like we’re here in the moment, and then we just do some breathing,” Gold said.

As a previous hypnotherapist, Gold tries to implement mindfulness and mental health tools into her teaching. She wants students to participate in her mindfulness teachings as much as they feel comfortable, but she also stresses the importance of deep breathing and meditation.

Since high school, Gold knew she wanted to be a teacher. As a child, she loved to play school and always had a passion for teaching. When she went to San Diego State University (SDSU) for college, she took a composition class that changed her life.

“I was a liberal arts major at first, but then I had a freshman composition class that was a requirement, and it changed my world,” Gold said. “I loved the teacher, and I had always loved my English classes throughout school, so after that class, I felt that’s what I really want to do. I want to teach English. So I switched to an English major.”

Gold went on to get her masters in English with an emphasis in creative writing. Then, as a graduate student, she taught community college at SDSU. Soon after, however, she took a break to try alternate professions. 

She first pursued an interest in the paralegal business, working as a legal secretary. But Gold quickly realized that being a paralegal wasn’t for her. She then went on to become a counselor at a domestic violence agency. Gold enjoyed the mental health profession and thought of becoming a therapist, but decided that her ultimate passion was teaching.

In her first six years at Carlmont, she had a hypnotherapy practice on the side. At an office in San Mateo, she would work with clients on stress relief, adopting healthier habits, and changing their mindset. She later stopped her hypnotherapy practice to focus on teaching.

“It fed that part of me that cares about mental health,” Gold said when discussing her hypnotherapy practice.

Gold has explored other hobbies over the years, too, including creative writing. She says writing has always been a part of her life through writing groups and creative writing. Recently, however, she’s felt the need for a break, which has led her to venture onto a new hobby: photography.

“I’ve been pursuing photography, and it’s been a lot of fun because I don’t have training. I have no expectations, so it’s just playful,” Gold said.

Gold’s passion for teaching has made her a well-adored teacher at Carlmont. Her ability to connect with students makes her class all the more enjoyable. These connections she makes are her favorite part about teaching as well.

“It’s the connection with the students. That’s at the heart of everything,” Gold said.

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About the Contributor
Sienna Reinders
Sienna Reinders, Highlander Editor
Sienna Reinders, a senior at Carlmont, is a staff writer for Scot Scoop and an editor for The Highlander. She is a passionate journalist who has also taken her skills to UC Berkeley's Daily Cal newspaper, with internships in the summers of 2022 and 2023. When she is not writing, you can find her running with friends to train for her next cross country or track race. To view her portfolio, click here.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Staff Profile: Susan Gold teaches through mindfulness