Laura Brooks

Laura Brooks of Rockton has taught second or third grades for 14 years. She’s in her fifth year teaching third graders at Whitman Post Elementary. When being interviewed for the post, she was asked what message she would want to send students as their teacher. She responded, “You are important. You are the reason why I am here.” She is committed to figuring out what each child needs to succeed. “It is so important for teachers to be committed to reaching our students not only academically, but also emotionally.” She sets high expectations for herself and her students, yet is commended for being kind and fun as well. She received much praise in a recommendation letter from a student’s mother, who wrote, “Laura’s enthusiasm for learning kindles the desire of learning in her students … [she] goes above and beyond the traditional model of teaching by using technology to promote creativity and imagination in her students in new and fun ways. Laura has the ability to take dry subject matter and get the students excited about it through the use of technology. My daughter cannot wait to go to school every day to see what fun learning activity will be in store for her.” Principal Megan Forsythe shared that Laura is dedicated to the success of her students, her peers and the school. She has written and received several grants, resulting in her being able to implement new technologies and recreating the computer lab into a maker space “where all 500 of our students could engage in 21st century learning.” Megan once received an email from a parent asking her to clone Laura because of the impact she had on her daughter’s confidence and skills, including in STEM activities. In her recommendation letter, Laura’s student’s mother also noted the way Laura “models the concept of putting in the time to produce greatness – what a great role model to have for eight- and nine-year-old students who are learning how to be productive members of society!” Laura’s main lesson about diversity to her third graders is that they should respect everyone’s opinions and learn from others. When working on a lesson, she may pair students either by learning style or by personality, pushing them to listen and learn from each other. Laura relishes sharing struggles and celebrating successes with her fellow teachers. “Collaborating with others is a great way to enhance instruction and increase student achievement.” Recently, a co-worker shared this quote as it reminded her of Laura: “If a student leaves my classroom with new skills, I’ve done my job. If a child leaves my classroom knowing they are loved and accepted for who they are, I’ve reached my goal.”