Medford teaching from young age

From homeschooling to CHS9


Varshitha Korrapolu

CHS9 biology teacher Brittany Medford lectures her third period class on March 3 about the relationship between structure and function, which is a topic in the body systems unit. Medford started teaching at CHS9 at the beginning of this school year and graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2016.

Manasa Mohan, Advertising and Circulation Manager

Coppell High School Ninth Grade Campus biology teacher Brittany Medford is a first year teacher at CHS 9, but taught at Colleyville Heritage for one year for her student teaching and at High Point Academy for five years. This year, more than anything, she hopes her students learn the value of hard work and carry that virtue with them to wherever their future takes them.

Why did you choose to teach biology?
I was homeschooled but we had this co-op [group of homeschooled students who get together to learn in an instructional setting], so I did my sciences in a traditional way. My biology teacher, Mrs. Davis, inspired me because her classroom was very busy and fun but never felt out of control. And I was like, ‘How is she keeping these 14-year-olds in control, working and engaged?’ Watching her, her classroom and how much I loved biology specifically brought me to [teaching] ninth grade where my passion is.

What is your favorite unit?
I really think that genetics is my favorite unit. When I teach genetics, I go into a little bit of biotechnology like DNA fingerprinting and karyotyping before we get into the technical stuff of genetics. Genetics very much relates to what the students see in the mirror and in their families.

When did you realize you wanted to teach?
It came pretty early for me, probably around fifth grade. I was homeschooled in fifth grade and I had two younger siblings, so I was responsible for making sure that they did their work and were learning as well. That’s really where I got excited about making sure that they were getting work done, inspiring them to keep working and instilling education in them.

What has been a memorable experience that you’ve had as a teacher?
This past year would have been the [graduation year of the High Point Academy] class of 2021 at and that was the only class that I got to teach all five years. Their whole end of senior year, like prom, senior trip and graduation, was just so emotional and so much fun. I will always remember that class because I brought them up from eighth grade all the way through their senior year. That’s really memorable for me, specifically their prom and graduation were very emotional for me.

That’s really where I got excited about making sure that they were getting work done, inspiring them to keep working and instilling education in them.”

— CHS 9 Biology Teacher Brittany Medford

How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is very student-led. I make sure that the students have what they need and I give them instructions. Most of my days are ‘let me give instructions and then you do.’ I’ll talk for 10 minutes and say, ‘this is what your job is for today, this is what you are going to explore, or this is what you will be working on.’ Allowing them to take that and apply it in the way they want to.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned during your teaching career?
Teaching high school has taught me a lot about respectful but assertive communication which is something I wasn’t great at, but that’s something I try hard to instill in my students. You need to be able to advocate and assert what you need to me, but you need to do it in a respectful way. Teaching that balance has made me need to find that balance in myself as well. I need to speak up for myself when I need something, but doing so respectfully is something I really try to teach my students.

What are your goals for your students this year?

I want them to recognize that hard work leads to success and I want them to know that science is going to get harder as they continue through high school. I want them to know that things will get more difficult, but they can be successful with hard work and that they always have me as a support system. They can ask me any questions, no matter how far along their years they get.

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