Thursday July 30, 2015

Lalanne Series - Cassie Brakers

Our next Lalanne teacher is a graduate of our very own University of Dayton. Cassie Brakers is 22 years old and she is from Harrison, Ohio. This is her first year in the Dayton community of the Lalanne program where she will be teaching at Catholic Central in Springfield, Ohio. Here are Cassie’s answers to the interview questions:

What is your favorite subject to teach? Mathematics

What is your favorite subject to learn? Religion

What is the one most important thing that you want your students to learn from you or take away from your teaching? I want my students to understand that it is all about “progress, not perfection.” This applies to their education and their faith lives. If we focus on a perfected end result, we miss out on the real learning as a progression of knowledge and wisdom.

Who is your role model? Describe the: My parents, Mike and Cathy Brakers, are my role models. They show me that true love is sacrifice. They have sacrificed to send both my sister and I to Catholic schools, and I am forever grateful for that. They both work harder than anyone I know, and they also show me how to balance that work with a life of joy and gratitude.  

How were you inspired to become a teacher? I was inspired to become a teacher by a nudge from God. I originally was studying Graphic Design, but I realized that was not what I wanted to do with my life. I was drawn to education by the selflessness of the profession, but I did not feel like I had the skills teachers needed. However, I went with the decision to study education and over the years I have come to firmly believe in the saying, “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” He has given me all that I have needed to be a good teacher and I will continue to rely on Him and pray that I am fulfilling my role as an educator.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? My decision to become a teacher contrasted with my previous study of Graphic Design. I wanted to work with people and build relationships, rather than working mostly by myself. I believe God created mankind for relationships; we need to shift our attention from the individual to the community. In a school, I will be able to build a classroom community and hopefully guide students in their academic and spiritual development. Being a teacher is a way I believe I can serve others and God, whereas I personally felt I was serving myself in Graphic Design. Being a teacher is the vocation I feel called to.

Why do you want to teach in Catholic schools? I want to be a Catholic School teacher because it is where I believe my talents can best be served. Being a Catholic Christian is a significant part of my identity.  Being able to share and express my faith in my workplace and with students is something I desire. I have been in Catholic schooling from second grade all through college. The Catholic school is an environment I believe in and one that I want to continue to be a part of. In a Catholic school, spiritual development is just as important as intellectual development. I would be proud to be part of a school that truly educates the whole person.

What are three fun facts about you? I love drinking coffee and going to quaint coffee shops with friends. I received perfect attendance in school every year since third grade. My favorite (and most frequently requested) gift of the Holy Spirit is Fortitude.

If you could teach anywhere in the world where would it be? Given I could be in a Catholic school and be near my loved ones, I would like to teach somewhere in Australia.

Tell us anything else you would like the readers to know about you: I am thankful to be a part of a program that has many young and inspiring Catholic educators and friends!

Here are other good comments about Cassie from fellow teachers and the staff of Lalanne:

 “Cassie's faith is inspiring to me.  She always has on a smile and carries such a positive spirit to all those who encounter her.”

 “You are the best roommate EVER. Go coffee.”

 “gentle spirit with true passion for teaching”

“Cassie is a cool girl, if I do say so myself.”

“Cassie has a sparkle in her eye that never dims. She will be a great teacher.”

“Cassie’s love of her faith shines through her personality.”

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