Brittany Hesser

1. Name: Brittany Hesser

2. Position/Building: Intervention Specialist @ Mad River Middle School

3. Where are you from? Long Island, New York 

4. Family/Kids/Pets: My family lives in New York still, as do my dogs 

5. What is your educational background/College/Degree? I went to Molloy College in New York and earned my BA and MS in Social Studies Adolescent Education and Special Education; I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA

6. What are you currently reading for enjoyment? Re-reading The Outsiders on my own and with my classes!

7. What do you want to be doing in five years? I'd love to be creating things, educating young people, perhaps teaching higher education, and raising a family of my own.

8. What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom? Reading, writing, hiking, exploring nature, drawing/painting, and cooking.

9. When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field? I was "teaching" my younger neighbors at seven years old, so I think I always knew. The turning point for me was when I was a junior in high school and took AP United States History- I had always hated history class, but this teacher was so amazing history became my favorite subject. I wanted to turn a child's most hated class into their most loved one.

10. What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching? I am extremely compassionate, thoughtful, and reflective. I am constantly thinking of new, fun ways to do things for students so that they can really grasp the material in a way that is meaningful for them. Additionally, I am reflective and constantly think about what could be done differently and how I can make a lesson better. I am always rethinking thing and changing my methods to make sure that I can reach my students.

11. What is your favorite subject to teach? History, especially government/politics and US History.

12. What is your least favorite subject? Science. I enjoyed Physics, but aside from that, science has never been my thing!

13. What do you like most about teaching as a career? I like being able to help children, as students and learners and as individual people.

14. What is the most difficult aspect of teaching today? In a digital age, children have the world at their fingertips. I've been able to make this work in my classroom by abandoning the old focus on rote memorization and switching to a more thoughtful approach to learning. Instead of memorizing the facts and figures (which we of course still cover), my lessons focus on expanding our thinking and critically evaluating and analyzing the materials we have. While this method of teaching/learning has been well-liked by students, it sometimes takes a while. Children are used to having the world at their fingertips, and aren't always used to forcing themselves to think in new ways, question the information being given to them, or have to really work at something before it "clicks."