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  • Nyma Kaishap and Kaushambi Roy

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Baylis

Although most of you already know her or have passed by her classroom in D7, we want to reintroduce you to Ms. Baylis, the head of the science department at Edgemont. She's been teaching science for twenty-eight years, and in this teacher spotlight, we wanted to dive deeper into her teaching journey.


First, let’s start with Ms. Baylis' classes. This year, she's teaching two Living Environment classes, Honors Chemistry, and one seventh-grade science class.


What inspired you to start teaching?

Ms. Baylis: Many years ago, just out of college, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my biochem degree, so I started researching different things. I eventually decided that I wanted to teach because I didn’t want to spend all day in a lab with people.


Were you ever interested in any other careers other than teaching?

Ms. Baylis: When I first applied to college, I wanted to go into engineering because of my love for math. But I soon realized that engineering was not the right fit for me, and I decided to pursue science instead. 


What inspired your love for science?

Ms. Baylis: Probably teachers that I had in school. I always loved math, and I guess I enjoyed the practicality of science, which followed that.


If you could pick a different subject to teach, other than science, what would it be?

Ms. Baylis: Probably math, since math and science can be very similar in some ways. 


Did you ever teach at any other schools? If so, how do you think Edgemont is different from them?

Ms. Baylis: I taught in Mahopac for two years when I first started teaching, then Edgemont. I would say that Edgemont is more of a close-knit community, almost like a family. It’s very student-oriented, whereas the other school I taught at was much bigger, so you didn’t get that there. 


What have you learned from your years of teaching? 

Ms. Baylis: Over my years of teaching, one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is that grades aren’t as important as most people think them to be. You need to foster a love of learning in kids, and everything else kind of falls into place. 


Do you have any interesting hobbies? 

Ms. Baylis: I enjoy cooking, specifically for the holidays and my family. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays to cook for. My family helps partake in the cooking, as well. We like to make what we call a production line of food. 


Anonymous Advice from Students 


“My biggest piece of advice is to pay attention and listen during Ms. Baylis' class because a lot of what we learn comes from class discussions versus from articles or writing. Make sure you are taking active notes during class and paying attention.”


“I love Ms. Baylis’ class, and science is my favorite subject. I think to do well in her class, you should take advantage of the textbooks and materials that she provides and always ask questions. Ms. Baylis is a great teacher, and she always makes learning fun and enjoyable.”


“Ms. Baylis is a fun and creative teacher. She makes helpful practice assignments to help review for quizzes and tests, is great at supporting students, and makes useful suggestions. She lets us play music in class, which boosts positive energy and motivation.”


“One thing I like about Ms. Baylis’ teaching is that she uses a lot of diagrams to explain topics to their fullest extent. As a visual learner, this is very helpful. Sometimes when I only take notes, I’m not able to fully understand the topic we are learning, so her diagrams are helpful.”

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