One thing that I love about being a teacher is that you instantly bond with another teacher. Whether it be the line at Starbucks or your spouse’s holiday party, when you meet another teacher there is no shortage of conversation topics. This I have found to be true with all teachers around the globe.
I have personally loved getting to meet other teachers through blogging and conferences and a personal fact about me is that I love seeing schools on each and every trip/vacation I take. In my most recent trip to New York, we happened upon a high school in Chinatown before Sunday brunch. It always fascinates me. What the school looks like, their facilities, what kids attend, how do they get there, all of it is so intriguing.
Teachers around the globe
That being said, I will be showcasing different teachers in different places around the world on a semi-regular basis. I would love to share the different perspective of teachers in different parts of the United States as well as across the globe. My hope is that this will shed light into the vast amount of energy and effort that goes into being a teacher. We can gain insight as to what is working well at other schools and hopefully be united in the fact that at the end of the day, we all want what is best for our students. Maybe you will read a great idea that you could implement, maybe you the routine of another teacher fascinating, or maybe you will just be encouraged to know that you are not alone.
This is my sister, the younger better looking and much funnier of the two of us. She is a teacher by day and DIYer by night. When she is outside of the classroom, she can be found at Home Depot, IKEA, or working on her blog The Great Goodness.
Tell us your name.
Mrs. Brack (only one student so far has made the connection that Brack rhymes with crack)
What do you teach?
6th grade math
Where do you teach? What is the structure of your school?
I teach at a college prep charter school in Austin, Texas. I get to work around 6:30 am because students arrive at 7:05. I teach an advisory class, an architecture ‘curiosity’ class (this is similar to an elective), and four 65 minute Math blocks. Our students school day lasts until 4:05 (it is very long day for students and teachers alike), and I try to roll out of the parking lot by 5:00. I try to use my two planning periods very wisely.
What is your background/experience?
I studied Architecture at Texas A&M before having a change of heart my junior year. I received alternative certification through Teaching Excellence in Houston, Texas where I simultaneously taught at a charter school, Yes Prep. I taught 6th grade social studies and math for two years. Years 3 and 4 consisted of trying to teach 9th and 10th graders to love Algebra in San Francisco. Needless to say, it was struggle.
I am happy to be back in middle school where my biggest problem is getting an 80 pound student to sit down.
Describe something that is unique about where you teach or your classroom.
All school supplies for teachers, students, and classrooms are funded by the school. I pay nothing out of pocket. My budget is very reasonable too. It is amazing! Also, I get to wear jeans everyday!
The best part of my job is.
While I truly love the students, the best part of my job is solving math problems everyday. I love math! Give me a practice ACT (math section), and I will go to town!
What is one tool/item that you couldn’t live without? How do you use it?
I think it is a three way tie between skinny markers, my document camera, and washi tape. Nevermind, my favorite supply is my stool. This year I bought a stool to sit on when I go over notes. I cannot believe it took me so long to feel ok about sitting down for fifteen minutes.
What made you become a teacher?
My sister, Noelle, played a big role in my transitioning from wanting to be an architect to wanting to be a teacher. I also feel strongly that education is the best weapon in the fight against poverty, so I chose a school which focuses on a historically under served population.
Favorite memory from your time in the classroom.
I am not sure if this is a favorite, but I truly love telling the story, so here it goes. My first year teaching, I was being observed by about 6 applicants for Teach for America and my Assistant Principal. I had never had so many adults in my classroom. The worst part is they came in on the day after a unit test AND it was a Friday AND it was a short day, so I had just planned a binder clean out. That was it! As all of these adults come filing into my classroom, I fill with dread. I somehow managed to wrap up the binder clean out, and tie it into how organization helps us retain knowledge/study better/blahblahblah. I feel like I am hitting it out of the park, when Lynette (not her real name) raises her hand and says with all the confidence and grandeur that any 6th grader ever has mustered, “YOUR FLY IS OPEN!”
“Always say no.” (to bathroom requests)
If you are interested in being featured in a future edition of Teachers Around the Globe, email me and let me know.