Teacher of the Week: Education a family affair for Brooks

Published 4:20 pm Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jennifer Lumpkin Brooks comes from a long line of teaching, having a great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and two aunts that also have served as educators.

Although she knew a lot about teaching from hearing them share stories and ideas, she decided to give a few other jobs a try before realizing it was teaching that she wanted to pursue.

“I grew up hearing about what they did … and it kind of fell into place naturally that that would be good,” Brooks said.

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Teaching is a way of reaching students and helping them through their academics and stresses in their life, and Brooks said that is why she chose teaching.

“I like being able to reach someone whether it’s with an academic subject or sometimes it may be something completely different,” Brooks said. “I like the energy that comes from being around teenagers and young people, and I like teaching them something and seeing the light in their eyes when it comes on and they’re like ‘Oh, that’s what it is.’”

Brooks is now a math teacher at Morgan Academy, teaching grades 8-11 algebra I, algebra II and geometry.

She has taught a combined 10 years at Morgan, although she spent some time teaching at other schools as well.

Brooks graduated from Selma High School and Auburn University.

She is married to David Brooks and they have two children, Sydney and Tucker.

Brooks said another reason that she chose teaching over working in a dermatologist office, retail, restaurant and more is because of how different it is every day and knowing that she is making an impact in the lives of students.

“One of the things that’s so exciting about teaching is it’s always new, it’s always different, it’s always fresh,” Brooks said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

Brooks said that it’s rewarding to see a student when something finally clicks, but it can sometimes be difficult to get to that point.

“It’s difficult sometimes to find a way to motivate them and to reach them and to get student to see why they need to learn,” Brooks said.

Brooks said she tries to get the students to understand why they need to learn something, and even gives them examples of real life scenarios that they could use the skills for later in life.

“If you never learn it, you’re guaranteed to never use it,” she said.

“Anything that you learn, you will find a way to apply it and you will use it, and I think that’s a very important thing.”