Out in the math pods, you will find Emily Brown, one of the school’s new math teachers. Brown teaches two regular and one honors Math II classes. She attended the University of of Toledo in Ohio. After migrating to the South, Brown taught sixth graders in Lee County. Brown said that she discovered her calling to be a teacher after her first day of kindergarten.
“My mom says that I came home from the first day of kindergarten and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to be a p.m. kindergarten teacher so I can sleep in,’” Brown said. “So apparently I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. It wasn’t for the right reasons at first, but it’s evolved,”
Brown is impressed with the responsibility that high school students can handle.
“I worked in a middle school for the last three years teaching sixth grade, so seeing the difference between sixth-graders and [high school students], the amount of responsibility that you guys can handle, is just amazing.” Brown said. “It’s interesting. It’s fun.”
Brown was excited by the variety of course choices that high school students are offered.
“In middle school you don’t get it so much, but there are so many different classes you guys can take besides just the core content,” Brown said. “There’s a journalism class, and you can go off [campus]. Some kids are doing renewable energy. There’s so many different classes you can take; it’s really cool. I don’t know if it’s just a high school thing, if all high schools are like that, but I think that’s awesome that you guys can start exploring the stuff that you might be interested in.”
Aside from teaching, Brown enjoys reading and traveling when she has the opportunity.
“I read when I have to stay put, but if I don’t have to, I love to travel,” Brown said. “My first trip overseas was my summer between middle school and high school. I’ve been to 11 countries outside of the United States, so I love going to new places. My first trip was England, Ireland and Wales.”
It is no secret to Brown that many students seem to struggle with math.
“I think that part of it is you it hear it from your parents. [They’ll say], ‘Oh I was never good at math,’ and ‘Oh my parents weren’t good, so I got that from them, so it must be genetic,’” Brown said. “People hear their parents say that, and they think ‘Oh, it’s okay; my parents say that too.’ But I think a lot of it actually comes down to poor foundations in math.”
Brown feels lucky to work with others at Northwood on changing the face of math.
“Everyone was so supportive, and we got to do a training just before school started at the Triangle Training Center,” Brown said. “I got to meet different people, and that was fun meeting people who are out here with the pods. Everyone’s like, ‘What can I do to help?’ The students are really nice, the cafeteria workers, everyone. It’s very much a community feeling, so it’s nice to be here.”
– By Malia Hamilton & Eva Willauer