Staff Spotlight – Lauren Brinkley

Meet Ms. Lauren Brinkley | 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher | DC KEY Academy

We want to recognize Ms. Lauren Brinkley as DC’s April Staff Spotlight! She is a science teacher at DC KEY Academy and joined DC in 2020 as a Resident in the Capital Teaching Residency Program. Before joining DC, Ms. Brinkley, a DC native, graduated from Spelman College, where she studied education studies and Spanish. We recently connected with her to gain insight into her journey at DC.

What inspired you to work in education?

“Education has always been a part of my family. My grandmother was a teacher for Jersey City Public Schools for more than 40 years, and I used to accompany her to school when I was younger. Seeing the impact she made on her students, and reading letters from former students inviting her to their major life events like birthdays, weddings, and baby showers, inspired me to follow in her footsteps. I was fascinated by how a teacher could leave a lasting impression on someone’s life. Additionally, as a student myself, I always loved education and enjoyed helping my classmates catch up on assignments they missed. This love for education drove me to pursue a career in teaching.”

How have you grown during your time at DC? 

“I’ve grown so much. Initially, I was more reserved, but the positive staff culture at DC  has made me feel like a part of a family. It has also given me a deeper understanding of the challenges our students face outside of the classroom. Seeing the obstacles our students overcome on a daily basis has given me a new perspective and has made me more empathetic and understanding. I have learned how to better support my students and provide them with the tools they need to succeed, both academically and personally.”

Ms. Brinkley assisting her students with classwork

How do you foster a sense of community within the classroom?

I believe in creating a classroom environment that promotes community and inclusivity. To achieve this, I use warm callings instead of cold callings, so that students do not feel put on the spot. I also encourage students who are more vocal to take a step back and give other students an opportunity to shine too. By being my authentic self, I aim to create a classroom culture where students feel comfortable expressing themselves and making mistakes. I share my own mistakes and challenges with my students, reminding them that we are all human and that learning from mistakes is a part of the process.

If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share with them?

“If I could share one piece of wisdom with my students, it would be to never stop being themselves. In a world where there may be pressure to conform or imitate others, it’s important to embrace and celebrate our individuality. Our differences are what make the world diverse and interesting.”

Ms. Brinkley is an extraordinary educator who consistently makes a profound difference within our school community. Her dedication to our students’ is unwavering. We are privileged to have her as a valued member of our team.

Posted on April 14, 2023 in Awards & Recognition