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Getting to Know Ms. Killian

Rachel Strauss spoke to her chemistry teacher, Ms. Kilian, about a variety of topics to get to know her better.

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Rachel Strauss: Why did you come to Oxbridge?

Kate Killian: Before this I was teaching at St. Anne Catholic School, and I actually came to Oxbridge because some of my former students came here and they recommended me to the academic dean, who asked me to come check out the school. I only came to see it because I wanted to be nice to my former students, but once I got here and saw the project based learning, the small class sizes, and all the resources available, I figured this was my dream job.

RS: Why did you choose to be a science teacher rather than another field?

KK: I’ve been a huge science nerd my entire life and I studied biology and chemistry in college. When I graduated I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I randomly stumbled upon a teaching job and figured I could try it for a year. I wanted to go back [to high school] because my high school chemistry class was not my favorite. My chemistry teacher had us memorize the periodic table and I thought it would be cool to show kids how cool chemistry is. I started teaching and I fell in love with it and 11 years later I’m still teaching.

RS: What personal strengths do you find helpful while you’re teaching?

KK: I think, personally, the fact that I have a lot of energy is helpful because it takes a lot of energy to teach all day and to work with so many kids. I am also patient which is helpful with chemistry because for a lot of kids it’s hard the first time around, so my patience helps as well.

RS: Describe your ideal lesson.

KK: My ideal lesson would be something hands on, something where the kids are actually building and doing the things that we’ve been talking about in class.

RS: What qualities do you believe make an excellent teacher?

KK: I think excellent teachers, most importantly, care about their students but also care about the subject matter and just love what they do.

RS: What interests or hobbies do you pursue outside of the classroom?

KK: Outside the classroom I do a lot of volunteer work and I travel a lot. Sometimes I travel doing international volunteer work in schools and sometimes just for fun. I also have a pitbull named Teddy.

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