Teacher of the Month: Cindy Brown
Cindy Brown, a third-grade teacher at Bluff View Elementary School in Lake City, is the Post-Bulletin's Teacher of the Month for April.
Brown, a teacher at Lake City schools for 44 years, is retiring this spring. "She still lights up the room and is full of energy and enthusiasm," said Erich Enger, school superintendent.
Family:I have a daughter, Sara, and a son, Jonathan. They are both married, so in addition, I have my son-in-law, Josh, and my daughter-in-law, Monique. My family also includes three beautiful grandchildren, Noah, 6, Mackenzi, 4, and Ellie, 20 months.
Hometown:I grew up in Dumfries, a small community on Highway 60 located 8 miles from Wabasha.
School/grade:Third grade at Bluff View Elementary in Lake City.
What is the best or favorite part of your day?
I love to see the students' smiles and excitement when they join me for our daily read-a-loud. I choose my favorite children's books, including some of my childhood favorites, and share them with my students throughout the school year. It instills in them the love of reading and gives them all the magical moments you find by letting your mind be taken to a new place and time.
What or who inspired you to become a teacher?
I started my education in a one-room, red brick, schoolhouse just a half a mile from my farm in Dumfries. I walked to school every day with my book bag and my Roy Rogers and Dale Evans lunchbox. There were students in first grade through eighth grade with a very dedicated and patient teacher. We started our day pumping our own water and using the outdoor bathrooms. All of us went outside for recess to play our favorite game of Kick the Can, and we all survived without supervision. I felt just like a character from the book "Little House on the Prairie." I had so many wonderful memories of the six years I attended a country school. Those memories influenced my decision to become an elementary teacher.
What is one thing you want your students to retain from their days with you?
I have had the privilege of teaching third grade for 44 years. In those 44 years, I have learned that teaching is much more than helping a child learn their multiplication facts or how to write in cursive. Education is something bigger than that. It is about lighting a "spark" and creating an environment where children become interested, engaged and curious about their surroundings. I hope I taught them to love school, to love to learn, to be confident in asking questions and never give up! I want them to leave my classroom with the confidence to accomplish anything they put their minds to and empower them to become lifelong learners.
Do you have a teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is based on the positive interaction and real-life experiences I share with my students every day. How we interact with one another determines our relationship. I know my job is to teach and guide, but it is also to care, share, feel and love. My students become a part of me for more than the nine months we share. I hope to leave a fingerprint on their lives and help shape their future in some small way. I want them to share my passion for learning.
What is the most memorable thing that's happened in your classroom?
I am very proud of my teaching career. Outside of my family, I consider this one of my greatest accomplishments and most precious gifts. Every day for me is memorable. There is nothing better than watching the magic of a child understand a concept for the first time, or watching a student persevere through a task or assignment and feeling their sense of pride and accomplishment at the end. I truly feel blessed each and every day to witness these moments.
The Post-Bulletin and Newspapers In Education invite you to nominate a K-12 teacher who is making a difference.
Selection criteria include personal initiative, going beyond the call of duty, innovative methods and encouraging students to achieve academic goals.
For more information and to download a nomination form, go to postbulletin.com/blogs/nie/ .