Unsung Hero: Valerie Brown

I was Ms. Brown’s first student teacher in her fifth grade science class.

Up to that point, I didn’t know what grade level I wanted to teach, but after two days with Ms. Brown, I was hooked on fifth grade.

I was supposed to be there for ten weeks, jumping in to teach my own lessons about halfway through. Ms. Brown had so much confidence in me, that by week two, I was leading the class!

Her quiet guidance, mental strength, and spot-on wisdom helped me complete my ten week placement with flying colors.

She encouraged, coaxed, cajoled and even fussed at me the whole way through and I loved every minute of it. I wanted to continue teaching with her in the fifth grade, but there were no positions open. Before the end of the school year, I was offered a position at a neighboring school…in the fifth grade!

Believe me, the lessons Ms. Brown taught me about myself and about education were part of my daily routine.

Currently, I am an assistant principal in a K-5 building, working on my Ed.D. in education.

I am convinced that my experiences with Ms. Brown helped me to become the educator that I am.

And, for the past 19 years, I have always been thankful that she believed in me enough for me to believe in myself.

What are 5 characteristics or qualities that make Valerie an outstanding educator?

  1. The courage to be herself and to help others stand in their own truths.
  2. A true belief that positive relationships—not rules—can change the life of a child.
  3. The ability to not take life so seriously and laugh! It is refreshing!
  4. A warm personality that makes even the toughest students trust her implicitly.
  5. A hard-earned wisdom about life and love that transcends any lesson plans.

Valerie Brown, Teacher at Julian Middle School, is being recognized by Saundra Russell-Smith (Assistant Principal, Singleton Elementary School).

Click the above image for more information about Unsung Hero Week 2017.

To support KDP’s work to retain effective teachers like Valerie, make a tax-deductible donation today.

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