Ms. Lin accelerates students towards optimal performance

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Lanchi Nguyen

When entering the science classroom for the first time, many students are intimidated by the large periodic table on the walls, or the perplexing formulas scribbled across the whiteboard. However, many students eventually grow to comprehend the information under the instruction of chemistry and physics teacher Katherine Lin.

Ms. Lin’s love for chemistry began in high school, where her teacher inspired her to pursue her interest despite the difficulty of the subject. “It was never easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. It was just interesting and challenging, and I always welcome both interesting and challenging opportunities,” Ms. Lin explained. “Chemistry and physics were both fun in college – it was a struggle for a lot of students, but I remember enjoying the lectures and the exams. The best parts were the labs, but the worst parts were writing up the labs in the technical report style expected by academia.”

Like her teachers, Ms. Lin has inspired her students to challenge themselves, dedicating large amounts of time in planning lessons that are engaging and accessible for her students. “Having her as a teacher encouraged me to take more advanced science classes that I would not have taken otherwise,” senior Keira DiGaetano said.

Students participate in a myriad of activities in her class beyond the traditional lectures. “The most interesting parts of her class were the lab work we did and the group presentations where we would teach the class ourselves,” junior Camber Vincent said.

Ms. Lin aims to provide structure in her classes to ensure that her students are successful, encouraging students to do their best. “I think that’s really admirable as a person where she knows high school is hard, but she also is very driven in the way that she teaches,” senior Chloe Noh said.

In addition to structure, Ms. Lin values student participation in her classes since it is as an indicator that the students in her classes comprehend the subject. “Student participation in class, in general, is essential to student learning. Participation looks different for different lessons and students. Without participation, students are not engaged and not learning,” Ms. Lin said.

While Ms. Lin spends a lot of time helping her students, she enjoys various activities outside of work.

“Probably not a surprise, but I enjoy eating cookies in my free time, and when I’m feeling really wild with free time, I like to sleep,” Ms. Lin answered. It may seem surprising that Ms. Lin has not eaten the famous Oreos that she often gives her students in three whole years!

Despite being a teacher, Ms. Lin shares many interests with her students, including her love for books like the “Harry Potter” series and “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Like many of us, Ms. Lin has taken the “Pottermore” quiz and was sorted into Hufflepuff. With her patronus, she has received different results, including a basset hound, stag, bear, and otter.

Like most science teachers, Ms. Lin has a favorite chemistry joke, and it certainly is very interesting. “It’s not really a funny joke, it’s just cool: ‘Old chemists never die, they just reach equilibrium,’” Ms. Lin said.

Through her dedication and perseverance, Ms. Lin wishes to continue to inspire students to pursue their passions and overcome their difficulties.

“The future is bright with so much, it’s so exciting! Along the way, never forget that you are who you are because of the people who matter in your life – never forget how important your community and support network are to you,” she said, “All in all, be true to yourself, plan for your future, and take time for all the people who matter to you in your life. Then the rest is cakewalk!”