UD alumna Katy Brown is the Delaware Geography Teacher of the Year.

World connections

UD alumna Katy Brown named Delaware Geography Teacher of Year


2:30 p.m., Feb. 26, 2015--University of Delaware alumna Katy Brown has been presented the Delaware Geography Teacher of the Year Award by the Delaware Geographic Alliance (DGA). 

The DGA promotes geographic education for children in grades K-12 to enhance understanding of the natural and human world. 

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Brown was recognized for her outstanding ability to value the needs of her students and to help build relevance and excitement into their school experience.

A seventh grade social studies teacher at Gunning Bedford Middle School, Brown serves a diverse population and strives to build bonds with her students by creating a positive and collaborative community in the classroom.

“Geography is a way for students to understand that our world has many similarities and connects them to more people than they ever imagined,” she said. “These physical features are shared regardless of language barriers, religion or educational levels.” 

To get her students involved and engaged, Brown introduces geological features and makes them come alive in class. 

During a unit on the Panama Canal, she had her class explore the difficulties workers faced while constructing the water passage. They then examined source documents to discuss the conflict over ownership. 

Students were encouraged to develop their own opinion regarding whether the canal should be controlled by Panama, the U.S. or a cooperative partnership. 

Brown has found that by incorporating participation, her students feel like they were a part of the decision and a part of history.

“If my students succeed and reach their academic goals, I feel I have done my job. I believe that the classroom culture creates an avenue for academic and social achievement and it is my responsibility to create that environment,” said Brown.

In addition to teaching, Brown serves as Gunning Bedford social studies department chair, newspaper committee adviser, cheerleading coach and Girls on the Run coach, and on the district’s Social Studies Leadership Council.

Brown is as committed to her own academic advancement as she is to that of her students. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary teacher education and a master’s degree in instruction from UD, and is now a doctoral candidate in educational leadership

"The University of Delaware has shaped me greatly both personally and professionally,” she said. “The skills I learned in the classroom as an undergraduate, coupled with my student teaching experience, prepared me for teaching in my own classroom.”

Article by Donya Feizbakhsh

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