When it comes to teaching the classics, Sharon Brooker wants students to learn without knowing they're being taught. "I had a child and I could see the spark in his eye and he said 'Ms. Brooker, we're really learning aren't we.' And I said yes we are!"
Brooker started teaching 9 years ago, after growing up around a father who served Cumberland County, Tennessee as Sheriff for many years. "He always emphasized to me, what can you do to make a difference, what can you do to contribute to society."
Brooker received her nomination from the parent of a student who says she exemplifies the word "teacher" through her willingness to help beyond the classroom. "If a student has a special need at home, I feel like their physical needs have to be met before learning can occur."
Brooker recently helped a child in need of vision care, and researched a serious disease being suffered by another student's father. She also found a way to provide snacks for a child who couldn't afford them.
It's all part of her goal to create a nurturing environment for her Kindergarten class, a place they want to be and don't fear when they make mistakes. "It determines their outlook on school. And I want to instill in them a love for the classroom, a love for school and a love for learning." Brooker understands what students experience in her classroom, lays the foundation for how these children will develop.