Educator of the Year Essay 2018
When I think of an outstanding teacher, Mrs. Patricia Brooks comes to mind. She teaches AP Calculus AB and BC at Mt. Carmel High School.
Mrs. Brooks teaches math well because she is passionate about it, and encourages her students to love and enjoy math. She is known around the school for being a good teacher, as well as a considerate and optimistic person. Mrs. Brooks begins the day by reviewing the previous night’s homework and having students work together in groups to understand concepts.
She lets us write problems on the board that we did not previously understand, and we go over them as a class and make sure that everyone can comprehend them. When teaching lessons, Mrs. Brooks clearly explains what step of a problem she is doing, and never lets a student get left behind. She often asks if we comprehend what she is doing at the moment, and tells to raise our hands if we do not understand, so that she can properly explain topics that some students may struggle with. Whether it is during class or another part of the day, Mrs.
Brooks is always ready to spend extra time helping her students do better and improve in her classes. She has clear lesson plans and gives a reasonable amount of homework. We are prepared for tests with “formative quizzes”, quizzes meant purely for students to learn, as they do not affect our grades in any way. Mrs. Brooks truly wants all of her students to succeed and see the beauty in calculus. As for her personality, Mrs.
Brooks is a kind, compassionate person. She is very sweet to all of her students, noticing their achievements and encouraging the class to cheer them on. For example, if it is someone’s birthday or someone accomplished something in their extracurricular activity, Mrs. Brooks makes sure that the class notices. Even when a student does a problem on the board, the whole class applauds.
This simple action can make a students’ day brighter. She also notices improvement in grades and comprehension of students. For a period of time when I was in AP Calculus AB, I was not doing so well with a unit, which resulted in a low grade. In the unit after, I worked a lot harder and did a great job on a test. Mrs.
Brooks told me that she was happy that I did well and asked how I improved. It made my day knowing that my teacher made note of my hard work in the class, and I truly felt motivated to do better in the class. One of the defining aspects of Mrs. Brooks’ class is the accepting and kind group dynamic. Mrs.
Brooks separates us into groups, which she calls “ohanas”. “Ohana” is the Hawaiian word for “family”. She wants us to learn to be compassionate and caring towards the people around us, make new friends, and always help those who need it. Whenever someone does not know the answer to a question, Mrs. Brooks tells them that it is okay to not know, as long as they try to find out.
No one in the class ever shames a student for being unsure about a concept, because Mrs. Brooks has created an accepting atmosphere in the classroom. Anyone can find help with a math concept, through a peer or Mrs. Brooks herself. Overall, Mrs.
Brooks teaches in an effective way that everyone can understand, and encourages her students to love calculus. She motivates her students to cheer each other on and help each other learn. The most valuable nonmathematical lesson I’ve learned from the exceptional Mrs. Patricia Brooks it is to be accepting and kind to all, so that everyone has a chance to learn and grow together. Complete knowledge of calculus may leave my head as I grow up— but a lesson like that never will.