Voices from the Classroom: Monica Brown

We know that teachers across the state are working tirelessly every day, so we are excited to announce a column that shares teacher voices straight from the classroom.

The department’s Teacher Ambassador, Eva Boster, interviewed one Memphis teacher who is using leadership opportunities to grow her own development. Monica Brown teaches fourth-grade reading and language arts at Oakhaven Elementary School in Shelby County. Here she talks about her what motivates her on a daily basis, and where she wants to see the teaching profession in a decade.

Monica Brown teaches fourth-grade at Oakhaven Elementary School in Shelby County.

What motivates you to teach?

What motivates me to teach is the opportunity to make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of many young people.  It is my sincere desire to motivate them to be the best they can possibly be and know that there are countless opportunities available to them to succeed.  Every day, I instill in them the notion that failure is NOT an option and they are getting better and better every day in every way!  It is my goal to prepare every child in my classroom for college and career success.

What is your biggest challenge as a teacher?

My biggest challenge is teaching students who come to me several grade levels behind.  I address this challenge by having high expectations of all my students, using a variety of instructional strategies to engage the various types and levels of learners in my class, and by implementing reading interventions with fidelity.

You are passionate about teacher leadership – what led to this belief and what opportunities do you see for teacher leadership in a school or district?

My involvement in teacher leadership as a Memphis Teaching Policy Fellow with Teach Plus and as an America Achieves Fellow were pivotal roles for me as a teacher.  Through these organizations, I connected with other highly effective, solutions-oriented teacher leaders to discuss best practices and engage educational policy leaders at the district, state, and national levels. In schools and districts, I see additional opportunities for more peer-led professional development, mentoring by Master Teachers, and parental and community involvement relative to teacher leaders.

What is your vision for the teaching profession in 10 or 20 years?voices from the classroom-02

My vision for the teaching profession in the next 10 years is for teachers to be highly regarded as professionals, teaching students to be life-long learners, and cultivating holistic growth (academic, social, physical, emotional, and cultural) in every child in order to prepare them for college and career success.

What is your favorite teaching resource or strategy?

My favorite teaching strategy is a balanced literacy approach (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) to learning.  I also enjoy incorporating technology and student collaboration into my lessons.

If you would like to share your voice from the classroom, please email TNClassroomChronicles@gmail.com.

We would love to listen!