FREEPORT — Going the extra mile for her students comes naturally for Sarah Brown, and whether she’s connecting with her kids or sharpening their reading skills, her tenacity has made her a finalist in a prestigious teachers program.
“It’s incredibly humbling,” she said. “I’m very much trying to stay humble about this because it’s a lot.”
Brown, a fourth-grade teacher from Velasco Elementary School, is the first Brazosport ISD finalist in the Region 4 Teachers of the Year program in 35 years.
The Region 4 Teachers of the Year program serves a seven-county area comprised of 48 public school districts and 37 open-enrollment charter schools, representing more than 1.2 million students, 97,000 educators and 1,500 campuses. Region 4 helps spotlight educators who solve instructional challenges and go the extra mile in providing the highest quality education to students.
Brown, now in her seventh year of teaching, doesn’t see what she does as different or better, just what needs to be done to prepare her students for the rest of their academic careers, she said.
“Probably one of the biggest things that I do is really take time in establishing and building relationships with my students,” she said. “Once they are able to trust me, then we move mountains together. I love to actually just get hands-on with the kids and read to them. I am usually on the carpet with them surrounding me, and we are reading a book together.”
She’s always had a passion and desire to teach the next generation, Brown said.
“Most teachers will say it’s a calling because it is,” she said. “You just want to work with children because you enjoy impacting lives. I enjoy watching them grow. It’s very exciting. I just love working with kids.”
There’s a pressure to make sure children’s writing and reading skills are good enough for them to succeed as they grow up, Brown said.
“It’s a lot of responsibility,” she said. “If you can’t read you can’t write. I mean, reading is the foundation of everything you will eventually learn.”
Students have to be taught to put down the electronic devices and pick up a pencil and write, Brown said.
“You have to keep that in mind and develop lessons and activities for them,” she said.
Brown has a natural talent and she’s a huge asset to the school district, Velasco Elementary Principal Margaret Meadows said.
“It is amazing, especially from a Freeport school. We are so proud of our teachers and they work so hard, but it’s harder here than a lot of schools because we have such high poverty and high need,” she said. “Sarah is amazing. She’s a leader on campus and helps other teachers.”
She loves the Brazosport community and she sees herself staying here and continuing to build relationships in the coming years, Brown said.
“I love the school,” she said. “I love the community here. I love that our kids have so much potential. They are incredible kids. I can’t imagine working with a different population of students. I am built and designed for Velasco.”