By Bella Cameron
Mrs. Brown is a caring, loving, and generous figure in Williamsville East. She can be seen by many students as a mother. She is passionate about her job and helping students get through just about anything. She builds strong and trustworthy relationships with all of the people she knows.
When asked why she became a teacher, she said, “I had a few significant teachers in my life that were kind of like surrogate parents to me in school. – I noticed that they paid attention to me in ways that made me feel supported. So I became a teacher to hopefully mentor students and help them see all the potential inside them because if it wasn’t for those teachers I wouldn’t have become a teacher. They saw things in me that I didn’t see.”
Mrs. Brown has a deeper sense as to when others aren’t feeling too well, whether that be physically or emotionally. When Mrs. Brown was asked if she felt that her students are her children, she said, “I think that that is really what school is about, caring for every student the way you do for your children. Along with that comes realizing that you can have multiple children in the same family who each have different needs, and personalities, and different ways of doing things and just being in the world. I think it’s important for teachers to acknowledge that, and within the system we have to operate in, do our best to be human first.” She builds strong relationships with students which helps them feel seen.
East has a very unique setup. No walls. While some rooms have four walls and a door, most do not. Mrs. Brown loves that there are no walls, “I love that there’s no walls! And I say that because I went to a school with walls and I’ve taught in schools with walls, I really think that it translates into the community so that when you think about walls metaphorically we try to have open discussions. I think that East is a place where students can be empowered, they can go to administration and start clubs, or complain about things and offer their opinions. While we’re a system and nothing is ever perfect in a human system, for me that symbol of the no walls is a place where we try to really kind of bring down the walls of ignorance and a lack of tolerance, we try to turn those things into positive things where we open our minds the way we’ve opened the walls at East.”
Mrs. Brown didn’t always want to be a teacher. She actually had and has developed other options of interest. “I was going to be a doctor, I was a biology pre-med major before I became an English teacher, so I’d probably be a doctor. But at this point in my life I actually think I would be a psychologist. I’m really interested in the human mind and just helping people heal from trauma, communicate better, or just be their best selves. I actually think everybody should- like I’d love for everyone to have free therapy with qualified good people cause I think it really we can all figure out who we are and have better people in the world. Brain differences like learning differences, I’d really like to study the human brain.” She has an interest in studying the brain.
Mrs. Brown always protests any form of violence. She hates violence and every part of it. And if there is one sport Mrs. Brown hates, it has to be boxing, “Boxing. I can’t watch people hit each other in the head. It really upsets me. Can’t watch boxing, can’t watch people hit each other like right in the head. My grandfather was a golden gloves boxer. After WWII. I can’t even imagine because he was like the most gentle, wonderful person.”
Mrs. Brown is extremely passionate about students being off their phones, which is probably why she recommends this Netflix original, “One of the things I recommend everyone should see is the Netflix show about social media called… What’s it called? It’s called umm.. Do you guys know what the Netflix show on social media was called? Yes! The Social Dilemma. So I think everybody should watch the Social Dilemma.” She has deep concern for how phones affect people everyday negatively.
Mrs. Brown’s favorite character of all time is Atticus Finch. “I picked Atticus Finch because at a time when there was a lot of racial discrimination allows his children to be mothered by a black woman without any pollution of prejudice. He gives his heart and hopes to make things better.”