Atlanta middle school teacher Travis Brown is “special” to his students.
The longtime teacher is celebrating 20 years in the classroom, but that’s not what makes him so “special.” It’s not even his fun way of teaching sixth grade social studies at Sylvan Hills Middle School, which includes fun little jingles to help students learn complex topics, that makes him so “special.”
By all accounts it’s what Travis Brown does for his students outside the classroom to insure that when they get to his class they can focus on learning, according to Sylvan Hills Middle School Principal Artesza Portee.
He just does everything he can to insure that when a student comes in his class he’s removed all barriers so that they can truly learn.
Health can still be fun. It doesn’t have to be this drudgery exercise in this terrible thing
While Brown is a dedicated teacher, who arrives at work early and leaves late, Portee says Brown goes beyond what’s required of a teacher when it comes to helping his students.
“When finances are not readily available for the children, whether it be for class work projects, but even with things such as providing students with clothing items, material supplies with notebooks, paper, pencils, he just does everything he can to insure that when a student comes in his class he’s removed all barriers so that they can truly learn,” Portee explained during an interview with Public Broadcasting Atlanta.
That’s why Travis Brown is not only the Atlanta Public Schools 2015-2016 Middle School Teacher of the Year, he’s also an American Graduate Champion.
Brown, who credits his fourth grade teacher with influencing him to become a teacher, has qualities that make him an outstanding educator, Portee said.
“One of the most important characteristics Mr. Brown possesses is a respect. Each time I talk with one of his students and I ask them why are they so excited and enthusiastic about going to Mr. Brown’s class the first thing they tell me is ‘He cares about us’ or ‘He respects us,’” Portee stated.
“He is very accessible to them,” Portee added.
“He allows the students to come during the lunch periods. They’re able to email him and communicate with him for assistance with their homework. So he’s always readily available and willing to assist all of his students.”
One Sylvan Hills students told PBA that Brown is a great teacher because he creates an exciting environment for his students.
“He makes stuff that we learn fun and he doesn’t push us aside and he gives us his full, undivided attention and that’s what makes him special.”
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