Ms Raykhtsaum- Teacher Feature

Millennium High School is home to some of the most unique teachers in all of New York City. This applies to Ms Raykhtsaum who now teaches U.S. and AP History to Juniors. This is her official first year at Millennium. As a kid, Ms Raykhtsaum always loved going to school since her teachers always made school fun for her. Although strict, her 10th grade History teacher inspired her to become a teacher and to study History in college. Ms Raykhtsaum believes teaching U.S. history is extremely important, especially in these times, since you can’t make a change for the better in the government, unless you know history. She ended up choosing Millennium thinking it was a perfect idea to teach since her original plan was to always teach at a High School. Before Millennium, she had taught for four years at a middle school. She was motivated to teach here since she knew many of her students from her middle school loved Millennium. 

As many teachers would say, her favorite part of her job is the students! She believes the students are highly motivated, have a great sense of humor, and they know exactly what’s expected of them to succeed and learn in her class. Her favorite unit to teach is the 1960’s, the Progressive Era, and WWII. When Ms Raykhtsaum is not teaching, she enjoys knitting, baking, going to a museum, discovering new places all around NYC, spending time with friends, reading, and much more. She was influenced in her childhood by her Grandmother to become a teacher as she was a teacher in Russia. Part of her Grandmother’s journey of coming to America and living a better life involved education. As a child, Ms Raykhtsaum was that education was open minded and free as she never took it for granted. The main takeaway she wants her students to take from her class is to keep an open mind even when you strongly disagree with someone. She believes it is crucial to try to meet others where they are at, and to read lots of books of authors with diverse backgrounds. She wants students to remember that big change happens because of the actions of ordinary people. 


When I asked her about her perception of Millennium students, she stated that they are way too stressed out for their own good. As she states, “They should stop checking Jupiter every 5 minutes”. However, she understands the pressure that comes with being in a competitive school, and has dealt with many of her own challenges. She said her biggest challenge in becoming a teacher was watching parts of the country banning the discussions of really important topics while trying to teach students these lessons that pertain to your classes. 


Although she’s new to Millennium, Ms Raykhtsaum is constructing her character as an admired teacher. Junior Wen Xuan Wang, who is a student of hers says, “If I have questions I could always rely on her for help. She also takes very good care of her students and asks them what’s wrong when she sees them. She encourages us to read the news and learn about history ourselves to develop our own opinions on the world.” These feelings were likewise reflected by Junior  Evelyn Mullen Walsh, “She’s a very supportive teacher and really cares about what we’re doing personally and academically.” Ms Raykhtsaum hopes to be working with more students in Millennium for many years to come. She hopes to teach more students not only about U.S. history, but about applying the information she teaches to the world.