Teacher Education Program
Brooke Buerkle , TAC '07, High School Social Studies
As a teacher's daughter in rural Nevada, Brooke swore she would never become a teacher. However, after several political science internships during undergrad, she realized that through teaching she could accomplish her goals and create change more directly in the lives of children than she ever could through working in legislation. Once at Harvard, Brooke taught at English High School in Jamaica Plain, engaged in action research through the Cross Role Cohort, and took classes about which she felt passionate.
Currently, Brooke is the Social Studies Department chair at her 6-12 school, Columbia Heights Educational Campus (Bell Multicultural High School) in Washington, DC. She teaches an integrated AP U.S. History and AP U.S. Government course, and World History to 9th and 10th graders Through her role, she has been able to write curriculum, create " teacher rounds" professional development cycles for social studies, and expand the number of students who have access to social science AP level course. Brooke credits TEP and her teacher internship for her strong commitment and love of urban teaching. In May 2008, Brooke was named the " Outstanding First Year Teacher" by D.C. public schools.
" I was attracted to Harvard TEP because of its strong commitment to urban education and the amount of time TEP required its students to be in the classroom. Time with students is the best learning experience, especially when it is coupled with strong mentors and advisors. Harvard TEP was the only program that made me feel welcome and supported from the moment I received my letter of acceptance!"
" TEP changed both my career and my life. I felt extremely prepared for my first year of teaching after leaving TEP. The amount of self-reflection and teaching time that you get during your 12 months at TEP set you light-years ahead of other new teachers. Additionally, I made wonderful contacts and friends through the TEP program-people who have impacted my life in very positive ways. The TEP staff and many of my Harvard professors remain mentors in my life and have helped guide me as I start a new career and my professional life."
" My professional life revolves around ensuring that the young people in my classroom and all of our social studies classrooms are getting the best education we can give them. All of my time as department chair is spent on improving instruction to improve student learning. I focus on data, and use it to guide my own instruction and the instruction and professional development of my department. Additionally, I work to create strong bonds with my students by mentoring students in student government and just being around to work with students one on one."