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Passionate About Community

Local teacher talks about the transition to distance learning for her students and her family

Teachers have been the backbone of our communities and often go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the development and care of our youth. Amy Brooks is no exception. Brooks, a Towson University alumna, is a Pennsylvania native who originally had no interest in living in Columbia. “I was a city girl”, she says chuckling.  However, after marrying a Columbia native, she gave in and hasn’t looked back.  

 A teacher at Oakland Mills High School, Brooks is passionate about, not only learning but bringing education into the 21st century.  She shares that passion with her students and her community.  “Our district has conducted the most supportive and thoughtful roll out,” she says in reference to the resources provided to students. “Maybe this moment in time will force us to  jump fully into innovative practices.” 

Pleasantly surprised by the number of students who made it to class and their positive energy, Brooks expressed sensitivity for those whose families have been severely affected by the economic downturn.  “Some students have had to find work because their parents have lost their jobs. I constantly ask myself how I can best serve who is showing up, and help those who could not.”

Passionate about exposing students to our community heroes, Brooks, along with Jessica Mahajan, created OM Online, a community for anyone in the County who is looking for connection. The site provides live interactive workshops, games, crafts, exercise, you name it!  Mahajan helps to maintain their Youtube channel and website. “It’s been wonderful to connect the students with their community.” 

Not immune to challenges, Brooks and her husband Brian help their 5th, 8th  and 10th  graders acclimate to distance learning. Brian Brooks is among the thousands who have lost their jobs during this time.  However, the opportunity to support his family in a different way has been a blessing. “None of this works without my husband.  He is the backbone of our family and takes wonderful care of us,” says Brooks. She advises parents, “Give yourself a lot of grace and be patient. There are teachable moments for you and your child. Take a moment to show your child how to navigate, and learn yourself.”

Check out OM onlinee for https://oaklandmillsonline.weebly.com/

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