Taylor Harris

Mrs. Broder mentors students to be successful in psychology.

Taylor Harris, Section Editor

Following the retirement of former Psychology teacher Andrea Zara, Nicole Broder has stepped up to fill the position of IB Psychology this year. Broder is transitioning from teaching AP Human Geography and pre-IB World History to IB Psych and AP Human Geography.

Early last spring, Broder contacted administration about the possibility of teaching psychology. Although she was worried about juggling the needs of her young son and a new class, Broder decided to show her interest. She received word of her new status towards the end of the last school year.

“I was very excited to learn I’d be teaching IB Psychology,” says Broder. “Although it’s not a class I’d taught before, I’ve always loved the subject. I love AP Human Geography and Pre-DP World History, but I’ve been teaching those classes for several years. I think it’s important to shake things up every once in awhile and I liked the idea of challenging myself.”

To prepare for this challenge, Broder attended IB-certification training throughout the summer. She also devised her curriculum from a variety of inspirations throughout the experience, such as a community of other IB teachers and college textbooks.

Broder has high hopes for the school year.

“The human mind is such an amazing and interesting subject to study and there are so many cool things to discuss.  I’ve been incredibly impressed with the thoughtful discussions the students have had in class so far it makes me very excited for the rest of the year! I love [psychology]!”

Among her past and current students, Broder is widely admired and considered a quality teacher. Broder’s 88 percent pass rate from her 2015-2016 AP Human Geography classes is a testament to this reputation. 

Junior Mahek Shaikh comments, “I’ve had [Mrs. Broder] twice thus far in high school and both times I have had a really good experience being in her class. I feel comfortable speaking in class and I’ve been able to adapt to her teaching style easily.”

Though they are different subjects, Broder intends to use the same teaching techniques for her IB Psychology and AP Human Geography classes. Since both classes are based on preparing students for high-stakes exams, Broder is acquainted with the idea of staying focused on what students need to know for their exams. She typically introduces real-world content into the classroom to allow students to comprehend new or confusing topics. In her IB Psych classes, she includes various studies that support psychological theories with evidence. Her Psych students practice the types of questions that will appear on the exam in preparation for the format of the exam. YouTube videos are an additional supplement Broder uses.

Even though it is Broder’s first year teaching IB Psychology, her main goals are to ensure her students understand the content and know the format of the test to guarantee passing grades.