Brittany North ’21 has big plans to return to her local high school and set students on the right path, one equation at a time.
Solving for X
Brittany North’s positive energy is infectious. She smiles when she discusses the advantages of commuting to campus, enthusiastically describes her love of swimming, and eagerly lists the different ways she plans on being a relatable high school teacher.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with kids, whether they are younger or my own age,” said the Palmer, MA, resident. “I like making a difference in their lives and helping them learn something new.”
In high school, Brittany worked as a math tutor, helping her peers understand the complexities of the universal language. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to come to Elms, double major in secondary education and mathematics, and become an algebra teacher.
“Education is really important because it paves the way for new generations,” she said. “If we have a good education system, students will go far in life, and that will benefit everyone.”
“I feel like some students don’t really enjoy school, and they just go because they have to. I don’t want that to be the case,” she added. “I want them to feel comfortable in my classroom and feel welcome to learn, branch out, and take risks.”
Education majors at Elms begin class observations during freshman year, which sets the tone for their studies and eventually their own teaching experiences. Gaining exposure to different age groups was beneficial, Brittany said, since it helped her narrow her career focus.
“It was kind of cool to see a kindergarten classroom versus a high school classroom,” she said. “It helped me realize that I want to teach in a high school.”
When Brittany isn’t in the library solving equations or reading up on educational theory, she spends her time perfecting her technique as a swimmer. A member of the women’s swim team, she broke the school’s record for the 400 meter individual medley (earning an impressive 5:12:83) her freshman year.
Finding inspiration in Olympians like Elizabeth Beisel and Michael Phelps, Brittany developed a sense of self-discipline that she hopes to share with her future students.
“I’d love to coach the team that I grew up on,” she said. “High school students are impressionable, so you can set a positive example and be a role model for them.
“Swimming is a big part of who I am. I love coaching, and it’s great because that goes along with teaching, too.”
While she still has several years ahead of her at Elms, Brittany plans on making waves throughout her career. After she lands her first job, she expects that she will continue her education to earn her doctor of education degree.