Alison Byrnes knew that biking wasn’t her strong suit. After a 2.4 mile swim and a 26 mile run she felt exhausted, and had 112 miles of biking ahead of her. She would be disqualified from the Iron Man if she finished past midnight but she didn’t give up. Alison passed the finish line at 10pm. Her raw determination pushed her through to the end.
Covid-19 has challenged teachers in many unprecedented ways, but overcoming challenges is a familiar feat for Alison Byrnes, U-32’s new math teacher. Her work ethic has carried over into her teaching style, and allows her to help students fully understand concepts in math.
Alison was inspired to become a teacher from her AP Calculus class.
“The teacher did such a nice job of building things really thoughtfully and carefully,” she said. “So it felt like we were just learning small pieces of a puzzle.”
Alison will start a unit by building on the last unit. Instead of having students copy down a math problem she will give a problem and then come around the class to talk to students individually. These one on one conferences make it so that students completely understand the topic.
Before working at U-32, Alison taught for many years in Boston and for a few years at Randolph High School. Alison applied for a teaching position at U-32 after hearing about the welcoming community from Steven Ushakov, who she worked with at Randolph High School.
“He just raved about U-32,” she said. “As soon as there was a job opening he sent it my way and it feels like a really nice fit.”
The transition to a new school with the additional Covid restrictions has been bizarre and difficult for Alison but she’s ready to take on the challenge.
“It’s strange,” she said. “But even people that I haven’t really met yet are so friendly and it’s been a really great experience so far.”