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Teacher Spotlights

Teaching Excellence Teacher Spotlight: Caitlin Brown

What organization do you work for?

Spring Branch ISD

What grade-level and subject do you teach?

Fifth grade- Bilingual science

Where did you attend college and in what did you major? List all that apply.

I graduated from Stanford University with a major in Public Policy concentrating in environmental policy.

What is the best part of teaching? What is the most difficult part of teaching?

The best part of teaching is seeing my students start to think critically about science, make connections between different units and ask the most creative questions I’ve ever heard. I find the most difficult part of teaching to be differentiating for students with varying needs.

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you use in the classroom. How does this impact your students’ achievement?

In my science class we get to have a lot of discussions. I love using different questioning strategies, as well as, “right is right” and “no opt out.” As all of my students are ELLs, it is vitally important that they have many opportunities to communicate using academic vocabulary in English. I like to scaffold my questions so that learners on every level can participate and experience success in the classroom.

What 3 words would you use to describe the experience of participating in Teaching Excellence?

Helpful, rewarding and organized!

When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?

I love being in the mountains-backpacking, rock climbing, trail running and skiing. Unfortunately, Houston is not the best place for these activities. Here in Houston, I run at Memorial and Herman Parks, and I love to lose myself in a book. I am also always up for a food truck adventure!

If you could create a t-shirt with a slogan that represents your philosophy of education, what would it say and why?

“The foremost task of education is to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, and above all, compassion.” –paraphrased from my favorite Kurt Hahn quote. Kurt Hahn is the founder of Outward Bound, an experiential outdoor leadership school. I worked for Outward Bound in the Sierra Nevada for three seasons.


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