Rosa Caramazza/Sagamore Staff
Alyssa Murphy is the business teacher in the career and technology department at Brookline High School. She grew up in Norwell, Massachusetts, which is a small town on the South Shore, just 45 minutes out of Boston. Some of her hobbies include skiing, reading, and relaxing with her labradoodle named Larry.
What’s your favorite season?
I guess this is cliche as a New Englander but I love Fall. It’s gorgeous outside. I like how it’s cool in the morning and then the day warms up and the leaves change color. I love all of that. If we have to make it through New England winters, Fall is kind of the reward.
What advice would you give a high school student in today’s world?
This might be hard advice to take to heart but don’t stress about everything. Things have a way of working themselves out and I feel like over the course of my life I have stressed out about a lot of things that at the time seemed like a huge deal. I wish I had been able to enjoy the ride a little bit more. If something goes wrong or if you make a mistake it’s going to be okay. I wish someone had said that to me. And I think an important part of going to college is that you kind of figure some stuff out for yourself because you’re on your own truly for the first time. So I think some of that is just becoming independent. You’re making mistakes and figuring it out as you go.
If you could give your past high school self any advice, what would you give yourself?
I would say that you should branch out more and don’t be afraid to try new things. It is kind of overwhelming in its own right because it’s like what do I do? But there is so much to do, and that’s kind of the fun of it because most things that you can imagine doing you are able to, which I think is so unique. I know it sounds cliche but I would say truly try and take advantage of it.
So how would you say your past high school that you taught at compares to BHS?
It seems to me that students have a lot more freedom than the previous high school that I came from. And even from a teacher perspective, I have a lot of freedom to design my own curriculum and create the structure of my class, whereas where I was previously, all of that was done for me and I didn’t design my curriculum. It was just handed to me. I guess there are pros and cons, as there are to most situations, but I really love the freedom that I have here and I feel like there is a support system for both teachers and students which I didn’t really find as much in Boston.
Would you say your overall experience so far has been positive and welcoming?
Yes, everyones been extremely welcoming. The cool thing about teaching an elective is that I see 9th through 12th graders but being over here in the UA building, we’re a little separate from the main campus. But whenever I’m walking around I’ve noticed that kids I don’t have will say hello to me. They just wave and say hi and it’s something so small but it’s such a meaningful gesture and I think it says something about the community here.
What made you want to teach business?
After graduating I spent eight or nine years at Merrill Lynch, a financial management firm in downtown Boston before transitioning into teaching, so I have a business and financial background that I think makes me a good fit. I would say for my electives personally I try to make them as project-based and accessible as possible so everybody gets something out of the class. But I don’t want people to come in here and think that I just talked about financial concepts for an hour. I want this to be like a class people really enjoy coming to.