Teacher Profile: Alysha Brunelle
Taking a less traditional path as an educator, Alysha Brunelle, the newest science teacher at the Coral Springs campus, began her teaching experience through outreach events at various organizations, including working with the Guy Harvey Research Institute and the Sea Turtle Conservation Program for Broward County.
“We would go into schools to do fairs and teach students about sea turtles and use hands-on interactions to help break up the monotony of the school day,” said Alysha. “So most of my prior teaching has been through presentations and outreach events.”
But Alysha’s goal has always been to get into a classroom setting.
“I started doing all of the fun marine biology scuba diving and did a lot of shark research and it was great,” Alysha stated. “But I liked incorporating it with students better. We used to take students on field trips out on research boats and teach them shark conservation, how to collect research, and have them do all the work of professional research scientists including tagging the sharks they caught and collecting all the data. They were super involved, super excited, and their teachers were like, Oh my gosh, I’ve never even seen this student get so excited to learn something before. It was cool to see that. So, I began chasing that a little bit.”
Alysha joined Xceed on Nov. 1 after searching online for teaching opportunities to get her feet wet in a classroom setting.
“Xceed’s philosophy of small groups and one-on-one learning, I thought was amazing,” said Alysha. “When I was in school, I struggled with trying to stay focused for long periods, with a lot of other kids. So the fact that Xceed students can pace things out as they like and spend extra time on one topic if needed instead of just racing through, however fast the teacher goes, I thought that was remarkable.”
Even though Alysha has been with Xceed for a short time, she finds that her teaching philosophy and Xceed’s educational philosophy are a perfect match.
“I enjoy being able to spend more time teaching my students and make sure they get the most out of it,” said Alysha. “Also, that one-on-one connection is so important. You can get someone where they need to go a lot quicker when you make a personal connection. So when you’re talking to a student and they know about you and you know about them on a personal level, they’re more likely to come to class and come talk to you about topics they may not understand.”
Xceed is a school that would be an excellent fit for anyone who wants more flexibility to learn at their own pace, but Alysha says there are a few things that would help any new student excel.
“The more driven a student is, the better and if they have time management skills, that would be ideal because then they’re able to pace themselves.”
She also said that “The main point of Xceed is to allow students to take the time they need on difficult topics but also be able to follow the same guidelines of semesters, and deadlines of traditional schooling. But any student that would like to take extra time and have a more intimate learning experience, Xceed is ideal.”
“I think Xceed is incredible. I just started a month ago. But so far, so good.” Alysha added.
Alysha earned her bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography from Salem State University and her master’s degree in Coastal Zone Management and Marine Environmental Science from Nova Southeastern University.