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Brandie Gee has been given the honor of Teacher of the Year at Sweetwater High School for the 2010-2011 school year, having taught freshmen, seniors and everyone in between as a math teacher at the school. Of the five years she has taught, four have been with Sweetwater ISD.
Gee attended Texas Tech University and Abilene Christian University. She received a degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies, and most recently, earned a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction this past April. In addition, she has also been a recipient of the KTXS Teacher Tribute Award.
To Gee, teaching is not a job: "it is a passion". Including leaving that passion of teaching with her students, she shared many of the responsibilities that come with being a teacher.
"Some students need a cheerleader to tell them how great they are doing, while others need someone who will push them to be the best that they can be. It is my job, as their teacher, to be all of those things for them. Having so many 'roles' can be exhausting, but at the end of the day when I get to see the smiles on their faces because they 'get it', they understand Algebra, it is worth every bit of it.
"Every student should be able to know what success feels like. At the end of every class, I want my students to walk out of my room and feel successful."
Her desire for teaching has always been with her, believing the profession to be "the most rewarding and important...We wouldn't have doctors, lawyers, pilots, or plumbers if someone hadn't taught them how to do those things."
Gee also knows that there is more than the teaching aspect that goes into becoming an outstanding teacher, such as understanding. "Teachers have to understand their students and their needs. No two kids are the same, which means no two kids learn the same. Teachers have to see that and adjust to meet the needs of every student."
And beyond the teaching and understanding, even more factors come into play.
"Sometimes kids need a hug because they have had a bad day. Being able to be there for your students and having a relationship with them is important," citing trust as a major component of the relationship.
"I trust my kids to listen and learn from me and they trust me to listen and teach them." However, Gee shares a little secret.
"Little do they know that I am learning just as much from them as they are from me."