Teacher Spotlight: Brandi Bryan

Teacher Spotlight: Brandi Bryan
Posted on 09/14/2020
Brandi Bryan takes her math class outside for lab work(SPS) - Math is fun? If you’re asking 6th-grade math teacher Brandi Bryan you better believe it.

“If you’re not having fun, then why come to work.”

So, Ms. Bryan does exactly that. From the classroom adorned with superhero posters to taking the classroom outside to producing entertaining videos, she’s always looking for an opportunity to make sure her students are having fun while also learning.

Take the concept of adding integers, adding or subtracting numbers on a number line for example. Ms. Bryan took her class outside to the basketball court for a lab so that the students could act out the problems.

“Math is hands-on no matter what,” she said. “They need labs. They need hands-on stuff to see the math and it helps solidify it in their heads.”

In addition to the outdoor classroom, Ms. Bryan produced a video about the lab. She produces a video a day for her lessons and makes those videos available via the learning management system.

The videos serve a few purposes; they are good reference points for students who have a question after school about the lesson, they can help keep an absent student on track with the class, and the videos help the parents understand the lesson.

“They actually pay attention more and relate to it a little bit better because they get to see it and it’s not just some drone on lecture in my classroom.”

It’s not an easy process of producing five videos a week, but Ms. Bryan said it’s worth it if it helps students who aren’t able to attend class in-person.

“The advantage is is when they’re at home they don’t miss anything,” she said. “And if we’ve already got this in place, the kids are used to watching the videos, then when they’re at home even if it’s a snow day, they’re used to just popping on, look at the video, here’s your work, here’s your notes, alright, there you go.”

When you talk with Ms. Bryan about her students or observe her teaching or watch one of her videos, it's clear to see that teaching is a labor of love for her.

"I am never getting out of teaching," she said. "The only time I'll get out of teaching is when I retire to own a coffee shop. And then, we might have tutoring sessions at the coffee shop at night for the kids."

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