Vered Brooks, Core Classroom Teacher
- M.Ed., Middle School English, Lesley University
- B.A., Literature, Bennington College
- Activities: Reading! Also gardening, playing board games, Dungeons & Dragons, and watching TV with family.
- Quote: “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?” It’s a reminder that you don’t have to do everything perfectly, but you have to try; you can’t just abandon a need when you see it.
If you could go anywhere for two weeks…
Italy sounds lovely – the food, the history, the beauty of the place. All of that makes it feel worth going to visit!
Walking into Acera for the first time felt like coming home, especially after the time I had spent watching this population be underserved by the public schools. Not only are they fully served at Acera, but I also can’t imagine another school that would allow me the autonomy to truly do what is best for students while also exploring topics and themes that interest me.
Working with kids – and especially helping them understand something they didn’t before – is a passion and a joy for Vered. Since 2017, she has used her love of literature and history to create innovative classroom themes that grow her students’ understanding of the greater world, and culminates with a unit and project that is powerful and meaningful to them.
Last year, Vered’s class was challenged to write a persuasive speech designed to convince a pivotal historical figure to change a decision or behavior, and thus change the future.
“This speech required research into the relevant person and event, the systems thinking of imagining how the world would change with this different behavior, as well as the perspective taking always required by persuasive writing,” she said. “And of course, it was a piece of creative writing, since they got to go back in time! Students practiced and presented their speeches, and it was a truly wonderful few days!”
Another year, students wove together research, writing, science and role play to answer the question: How do we create an equitable culture? They explored the concept and elements of culture, and were inspired to imagine a colony on Mars, which would have different rules and expectations than communities on Earth. The unit culminated in a fascinating two-day “Life on Mars” classroom simulation, including an overnight at school – a highlight of the year!
“This job keeps me intellectually engaged, and constantly learning new things, as well as feeling like I am truly providing a service that is not easily accessible through other venues.”