Teacher Spotlight: Brittany T. Epps, Isaac G. Joseph Elementary
Brittany T. Epps is a TAP Master Teacher at Isaac G. Joseph Elementary
What is something you wish you’d have known as a first-year teacher?
I will never forget my first year as a teacher, fresh out of college, 22 years old, teaching 8th grade! What I quickly learned, though, is that I would not make it without the support and guidance of my colleagues. No amount of school and even student teaching can fully prepare you for taking over your own classroom but having those people who you can trust and lean on truly make the difference. You have to be open to learning, adaptable, and subscribe to that “never give up” mindset, constantly reminding yourself of the difference you are making in the lives of your students.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Truth be told, naturally, I am not a morning person or an early bird. However, since I’ve had my daughter--who will be turning one in a few weeks--my evenings belong to her and my family. So, now I have to be an early bird in order to get work done. It’s still an adjustment, for sure.
What is your dream vacation?
Let me just start by saying that I am an avid traveler, and it has been extremely difficult to not take any major trips during this pandemic. In 2018, I was able to visit Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Thailand! Thailand was on my bucket list, so that was truly a dream vacation for me! Traveling changes your perspective and opens your worldview. I really enjoy immersing myself in the culture of the places I’ve visited. My next dream vacation would be either to Santorini, Greece or Bali, Indonesia.
Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
There are actually 3 quotes that are extremely significant in my life, and all of them connect to the spirit. These quotes/scriptures inspire me, strengthen my faith, and demand that I be exactly who I am meant to be in this lifetime:
- “When you trust in God, you are like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots toward the stream. You will not fear times of heat and drought, nor will you cease to bear fruit.” - Jeremiah 17:7-8
- “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16
- “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” -Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist
What is the best thing about working at your school?
I absolutely adore the staff at Isaac G. Joseph Elementary School. In such a trying year, I have witnessed real commitment, passion, and love for the students and this work that we’ve all been called to do. The teachers and staff at IGJ go above and beyond in all areas, and they are always ready to encourage and lift one another. It has been my pleasure to pull up my sleeves and work right beside them, supporting them in every way that I possibly can. To top it all off, we have the most amazing servant and shared leadership at the helm, our incredible principal and vice-principal.