Teacher aspires to rise in ranks, widen positive impact

Even in high school, Brittany Williams was teaching math.

Now, she still is, except she’s no longer leading her fellow peers but rather teaching a classroom full of seventh graders at Campbell Junior High School.

“When I was in high school, I used to always teach my algebra one and algebra two classes,” Williams said. “ … I love math now … But when I was growing up until I got into high school, I didn’t think I liked it. When I got into high school, I was fortunate enough to have a teacher … allow me to have that leadership in her class, to like teach the class. That just kind of inspired me to want to be a math teacher.”

Williams, a Montgomery County native, has been teaching seventh-grade math at Campbell for five years; she previously taught in Montgomery County and Scott County, bringing her total years of teaching to about seven and a half.

“You don’t get in the groove of things till about year three,” Williams said. “After the first couple years, you’re just figuring out everything. It’s trial and error. Now that I’ve been teaching for some time, and I have a few extra degrees under my belt, I have been able to get my groove and my flow of how I do things in my classroom.

“Now it’s almost like second nature, especially because since I’ve been teaching here for the past five years, I’ve taught the same content. So I’m rolling right now.”

Williams, 32, attended Morehead State University for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She also received her principalship and Rank I from Asbury University.

During Williams’ first year teaching, she recalls feeling overwhelmed but powering through it. Later that same year, she was awarded the Rookie of the Year award.

“That’s one thing that stands out,” Williams said.

Williams said she loves working with middle school-age students because it is the time they are developing, and she wants to be a positive role model for them.

“My favorite part about teaching is being able to see how my students’ attitude and perception changes toward math when they’re successful,” she said.

While teaching can be stressful, Williams said she remains optimistic.

“When you have a student that comes back and says, ‘Mrs. Williams, you’re a really good math teacher, and you taught me a lot in seventh-grade math’ … that makes me feel hopeful,” Williams said. “And it lets me know I’m doing the right thing in the classroom.”

Williams said she would like for her students to remember her as a positive role model.

“I would like for them to remember me as … someone who valued their education and valued their math sense and knowledge,” she said. “I hope that I was just able to make a positive impact on them.”

Williams’ job is unique in the fact that she teaches all co-teaching classes.

“That’s the difficult part of my job is being able to differentiate and make sure that I am meeting the needs of every student in the room, and I have many different levels in my room,” Williams said.

This year, Williams, who describes her teaching style as innovative and creative, is also trying to incorporate more technology in the classroom.

“Math is unique in the fact everybody can use Google classroom and make it work for them in science and social studies because they don’t have these fractions and these decimals and all this stuff that they have to add in,” Williams said. “I am trying out Google classroom, and I’m trying to incorporate more technology in math class so that it’s not always pencil and paper all the time.”

As a teacher, Williams said she seems more time with her students than she spends at home. She is not only a teacher to her students but also a mom, a nurse and more.

“You’re trying to help them become good citizens, and you’re trying to help them have knowledge of real-world math skills,” she said. “You’re a little bit of everything.”

As for advice for a new teacher, Williams said don’t give up.

“When it gets hard — and there are going to be difficult times — just keep pushing,” she said. “Always strive to do your best and always be willing to learn.

As for her students, Williams offers up similar advice.

“Always remember to have a growth mindset,” Williams said. “Never say you can’t do something. You can’t do it yet.”

Outside of work, Williams is married and has two kids. She is active in her church and sings in a gospel choir called New Covenant. She also loves to spend time with her friends and family.

Williams said she is thankful for her number one supporter, her mom.

“She raised me to be a hard worker, respectable,” she said. “She always pushed me to do the very best.”

Williams said she is pushing herself to be her best every day and while she loves teaching, she plans to move up the ladder into administration: teacher to assistant principal to principal to superintendent.

“I’ve always been a leader, my entire life,” Williams said. “I just have wanted to do leadership roles. I feel like it’s my calling.”

Williams said in her leadership roles she wants to continue being a positive role model and to start addressing the needs of students on a much larger scale.

“Right now, I’m confined to my kids that I have,” she said. “But if I was in administration, I’ll be able to help all the kids in a district or ensure that people are helping out.”