Golden Apple: Sharon Brooker Goes the Extra Mile for Her Students

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 8/13/2012 4:56 pm

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.

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