With the demand for more and more teachers, many of our local educators are fresh faces working in the first and only teaching job they have had in their career thus far. But in no way does that mean they are any less talented at what they do.
Brooke Maine is a perfect example of why this is true. Maine graduated from Iowa State University in 2005 with an undergraduate degree in Biology and Secondary Education. She later received her Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Viterbo University in 2009 and her Certificate of Online Teaching from Drake University in 2013. But teaching was not her childhood dream. In fact, she didn’t decide to become a teacher until midway through her time at ISU.
"I have not always wanted to be a teacher," Maine admits. "I did not grow up with a career in mind. I knew I enjoyed science and wanted to do something in the science field when I went to college. "It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I decided on teaching. I was led to teaching because I enjoyed working with kids and wanted to coach, so I decided to become a teacher and a coach."
Dallas Center-Grimes was the school that allowed her to do that, and DC-G is still the place she calls home today. "I have had a wonderful experience working and teaching at DC-G," Maine gushes. "I was very lucky when I was working on my Master’s because DC-G paid for many of the classes I took. They have also allowed me to become specialized with what I teach, teaching the college-level life science classes and allowing me to develop and teach Anatomy & Physiology. "In addition, I am currently developing two online Biology classes that I will begin teaching during the next school year. The administration at DCG was very receptive and open to the idea of offering online classes and enabling me to develop and teach these new classes."
With less than 10 years of teaching experience under her belt – all at DC-G – Maine is the perfect example of the faith we can place in the large crop of teachers who are currently emerging. Educators like Maine are genuinely good people. And Maine claims that’s her favorite part of the job: the people. "My favorite part about my job is everyone in the building- I love seeing my students every day and interacting with them, as well as seeing and working with the staff members in our building. We have a wonderful staff that is great to work with and wonderful students to teach."
Previous students have even come back to tell Maine how much they appreciate the knowledge she shared with them.
"I hear from former students who tell me their college classes are going well and are much easier because they took my classes in high school," Maine shares. "I love hearing from former students about their success in college.
"One thing I will never forget is a note a student wrote to me on their final exam at the end of the year. Her note said that she really enjoyed my AP/College Bio class and that she was really glad she took it. She thanked me and said that she learned a lot, probably more than most of her other classes combined. It really meant a lot to me that she took the time to write a personal thank you note on her test to express her appreciation, and I actually kept her note as a reminder of how important our jobs are as teachers."
And what does Maine’s future look like?
"My hopes for the future are to continue to teach and improve my classes and to successfully launch the online Biology classes, in addition to inspiring students to succeed in high school and college."
Maine lives in Urbandale with her husband, Scott, who works for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Brooke and Scott have a three-year-old daughter, Grace.