New Teacher Profile: Paul Brauchle

Caroline Champa

Paul Brauchle teaching Chemistry on the first day of school. Photo by David Barron.

Recently, the Gator sat down with new faculty member Paul Brauchle, who teaches Upper School Chemistry. Brauchle graduated from Wesleyan University last spring, and this is his first year teaching.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Orono, Minnesota, which is a small suburb of the twin cities.

What was your favorite subject in school?

Obviously chemistry, but I really enjoyed history, specifically world history and ancient Greek and Roman history.

Where did you go to high school and college?

I went to Orono High School in Minnesota and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

What do you like to do outside of school for fun?

I enjoy reading, writing, running, and just hanging out because I am a homebody.

What brought you here to teach at the School?

I liked the mentorship program as a new teacher because I have never actually taught high school before. I thought that the mentorship program at Brimmer and May is really great and would allow me to develop professionally in an efficient way. Also, it just seemed like a great community. There are a lot of opportunities for personal growth, the kids seem great, and there are lots of opportunities to travel. That is really important because learning is a global practice and not just specifically in the United States, Massachusetts, or the Northeast. It is really great that students and faculty get the opportunity to leave this area and learn by osmosis of other cultures.

What has your transition from student to teacher been like?

It has given me a newfound sense of respect for all my previous teachers. In high school, I had some really great relationships with some teachers but obviously it is much more like mentor to mentee as a student. Even in college, there is still that gap where you have a professor and even if you get along really really well with them, there is still kind of that gap. Seeing the opposite side of it is really funny and it has taken some time getting used to it. I think the first time I signed an email Mr. Brauchle to a student was a moment where I stepped back and said, “Wow, I am the one in charge of the classroom now.” That was weird at first but now I am getting used to it. It is enjoyable and it is not to say that I am always the teacher too. I mean there is that age old proverb which is kind of true and kind of cliché that the students also teach the teachers. Even though I have stepped into the mentor role in the classroom, there is still a lot to be learned.

What is your favorite food?

Dumplings because they are so good.

What’s your favorite animal

Red pandas because they are really cute.

If you could eat dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be?

I think it would be either, Marcus Aurelius, Alexander the Great, or Cleopatra.  

What is one thing you wish your students knew about you?

I really want them to succeed and if they are ever having trouble with school and life, they should feel that they can always come talk to me and feel comfortable asking me questions