Teacher of the Month: Nicole Brashear
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For the past two months, Nicole Brashear has taken a break from grading lab reports so she can attend class during her prep period.
This year, she isn’t only teaching classes, but is taking one too.
Almost every morning Brashear has been attending Brian Asher’s Spanish one class during her prep period.
“It’s fun having Mrs. Brashear in the class.” Asher said. “There are some teachers that might be a little intimidating sitting in on my class, but not Mrs. Brashear, she is as nice as it gets.”
Asher also pointed at that it is nice having an adult in the room. “I always have 15 and 16 year olds in my class so it’s nice having someone in here that actually wants to learn.”
Although it was a bit awkward at first, Brashear loved learning from Senor Asher. “When I joined the class, I would have to do oral exercises with the students, which was kind of awkward. But I don’t have to do that anymore,” Brashear said. “I also sit at the front of the classroom instead of sitting amongst the students.”
Asher’s said that his students don’t act any differently when Brashear is around. “Mrs. Brashear stays pretty quiet. She doesn’t stop class asking questions, or demand attention, she stays pretty quiet. It’s not awkward at all because I know her so well.”
Brashear has been ambitious to learn Spanish so she can help her seven-year-old son, Liam Brashear, with his homework. Liam is in first grade at a Spanish immersion school in Davis.
“The goal is for my son to be fluent in Spanish…I’m hoping by sixth grade.” Brashear said. “I think it’s important for my son to learn Spanish, especially if he decides to live in California when he grows up.”
Brashear doesn’t get graded in the class, but Asher gives her homework assignments and tests as he does for the rest of his students.
In fact, Liam will sometimes help her with her Spanish homework. “Since my son doesn’t read yet, I’ll read him the directions in my terrible Spanish accent, and then he will help me with the assignment.” Brashear said.
Lately, Brashear hasn’t been going to class as often as she had hoped, attending the class about two days a week.
“When I miss a few days, I find it hard to catch up.” Brashear said. “I’ll sometimes see Asher around campus, and he will ask me why I’ve been skipping class,” Brashear said.
Although she hasn’t been attending class regularly, her Spanish has improved. “I can now play eye spy with my son.” said Brashear. “I can point out different objects, and I understand what my son says when he speaks to me Spanish.”
Brashear, who took French in high school, said that it is different from Spanish. “I can remember some French, it’s funny because when I am trying to communicate with my son in Spanish, I make the words sound like French,” Brashear said.
Brashear doesn’t know if she will go on to take Spanish two next year. “I’ve fallen behind in Spanish one, so I might have to retake it next year.” said Brashear.
But when Brashear told her husband that she wasn’t attending Spanish regularly, her husband suggested that she retake the class next year. “I’m so busy with my son and his soccer practices, so I was hinting to my husband that he could help more, but instead he suggested that I take Spanish one again next year.”
But Asher thinks that Brashear is prepared, although, they haven’t discussed this matter yet. “If these guys are ready for Spanish two, then so is she. If they’re moving on, then so is Mrs. Brashear.”