TEACH California banner image for Print

Distinguished Teacher Jennifer Brown

  • James Dukes Elementary
  • Ramona Unified School District
  • 4th-6th: Specialized Academic Instruction
  • Special Education


What advice would you give to people considering a career in teaching?

"Bright and scared, he is a fallen goose and I'm going down to get him...and I'll stay until he can get back in the V formation." - Nanci Bell
Nanci Bell is the author of the Seeing Stars intervention program.
It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the bird immediately in front. When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies lead. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed. Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follows him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.
My advice would be to stay with their students. The first few years of teaching are difficult but worth it to gets kids back in the "V" formation.

What's the best thing about teaching?

The best thing about teaching is when you have engagement with your students and they have investment in you and their learning. When an asperger kid looks at a neighbor and figures out what he should be doing. When a student struggling with their home life feels confident in a subject area and you see how important that is to them. When your class is the best behaved at lunch because you eat with them and they know you feel they are important.


Back to Our Distinguished Teachers