Katie Braymiller is the Science Department Chair and teaches high school chemistry.
What drew you to teaching?
I grew up in Buffalo, NY, and when I was in high school, I realized that there was a lack of strong female teachers within my school. In particular, I had always loved science and yet saw there was a dearth of inspiration for young women to enter the science field. I decided I wanted to teach science to show girls that there was a place for them within that world.
How did your early teaching experiences impact you?
I taught at some very challenging schools in Rochester, NY, which instilled in me a passion for urban education. I realized, though, that while I had a wealth of content knowledge, I wasn’t equipped to handle the diversity of learners in the classroom. It was important to me that science be accessible to all students. Therefore, I decided to get my master’s degree in special education. I never intended to be a special educator, but I knew that having that background would better enable me to ensure every student could be successful in my classroom.
How have you grown over your time at Boston Prep?
This is my seventh year at Boston Prep. Boston Prep has become a part of who I am. I feel a very strong connection to the students, my colleagues, and the success of the school as a whole.
Professionally, I have grown tremendously at Boston Prep. I learned how to be a teacher here. I appreciate that everyone here is working just as hard as I am. Everyone is committed to growth and constantly bettering their practice. There is no silly or small question; there is always someone to turn to who will set aside what they’re doing to help. I’ve been able to advance professionally and appreciate the ability to be involved in decisions around curriculum and school culture.
How do you maintain relationships with students outside of class?
I truly value my relationships with the students at Boston Prep. I eat breakfast and lunch with the students everyday. I am usually with students before and after school, helping with homework or questions from class or even personal struggles they’re facing. I think students and families see me as an advocate, someone who cares, and I value the trust they place in me.
Do you feel you are making the impact you wanted to make, inspiring young girls to pursue science?
Boston Prep students are incredibly passionate about science. More students than ever before are identifying that they want to go into science fields. We have more students involved in science summer programs than ever before. More and more of our students are starting to believe that it’s cool to love science. They see their teachers’ exuberant love for science, and they learn that anyone can love and excel in the field. I definitely enjoy see that passion developing among our females, but it's really been amazing to watch this love for science ignite across our community as a whole.
This isn't an easy job. Why do you choose to teach, and why at Boston Prep?
All students should have access to high quality education that allows them to freely choose their future path, and I believe that it was we provide. At Boston Prep, I've developed powerful relationship with kids and adults, I've grown professionally, and I see the difference I make in the lives of students everyday. I get to see students develop ethically and academically from sixth graders to young adults in high school and college, ready to take on the world. The fulfillment of knowing you're making an impact like that is very high.