For the first several years of his career as a teacher, Nick Brewer was focused on his classroom. When education policy changes came along, he thought about what it would mean for his class.
“I would think … how do I live with whatever change this is — good or evil,” he said.
But a couple of years ago, the middle school teacher from Washington Township started studying to be an administrator, and he began to think about the broader impact of policy choices.
Now, Brewer is looking to have a hand in education policy as one of 20 new fellows for Teach Plus Indianapolis. Teach Plus is part of a national organization that trains teachers to advocate for policy, and it has been working with educators in Indianapolis since 2009. In the past, fellows have pushed for new teacher evaluation models in Indianapolis Public Schools and for a common enrollment system for public and charter schools.
“A lot of times education policy kind of gets dictated to us,” said Brewer. “Teach Plus was a very attractive opportunity to become a participant in the policy, as opposed to just passive.”
Brewer comes from a family of educators, but when he started college he did not intend to become a teacher. He had seen how hard and time-consuming the job was, he said.
“What I hadn’t seen was the relationships you form with kids, how enjoyable it is to teach something and have someone really learn it,” he said. “I didn’t feel the positives of teaching until I really got into the classroom.”
“I really want people to know,” Brewer continued, “teaching is an awesome profession to have.”
Here is the full list of 2017-18 Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellows:
Idalmi Acosta, Harshman Magnet Middle School
Nicholas Brewer, Westlane Middle School
Mariah Cawthorne, Westland Middle School
Emily Chestnut, William McKinley School 39
Olivia Corya, KIPP Indy College Prep
Melody Coryell, Shortridge High School
Phoebe Duvall, Paramount School of Excellence
Nathan Evans, Avondale Meadows Academy
Shivani Goyal, Clarence Farrington Elementary School 61
Pennie Gregory, George Washington Community School
Shon Harris, Avondale Meadows Academy
Kayla Marshall, Paramount School of Excellence
Stephanie Mizen, Cold Spring Magnet School
RonNella Moore, The Excel Center-Meadows
Nichole Moore, North Madison Elementary School
Matthew Perkins, H.L. Harshman Magnet Middle School
Susan Scroggins, Herron High School
Katherine Speer, KIPP Indy College Prep Middle
Sarah TeKolste, Emmerich Manual High School
Haley Wing, James Whitcomb Riley School 43