In order to share more of our amazing community here at SD, we offer this weekly Team Spotlight to give you a chance to learn more about our faculty and staff. Today, we are thrilled to introduce Brooke Gelber, Middle School Math Teacher and Mathletes Coach.
The youngest of five children, Brooke was born in Philadelphia, and moved to San Francisco, right out of college, having never been here before and fell in love, instantly. She later spent time working for an advertising agency, doing nonprofit and social justice work. As a child, Brooke spent a great deal of time with her mother, a nursery school director, and she said, “I used to love to go in and help her.” Brooke said that she spent her time reading to the kids and helping with art projects. “I even wrote and directed several puppet shows, with a group of friends,” she said. “And we'd perform them for the kids. I had a love of teaching at a very young age!” After getting her master's degree and having her daughter, she decided to move to Marin and found San Domenico, where she said she “fell in love with the campus and the people, in the community.” Brooke said of her experiences at SD, “I've never worked with such an amazing group of teachers. Now, I am blessed to have my daughter here at SD, with me, and I am able to see how amazing this community is from the other side. I can't imagine her getting a better, more, well rounded education.”
Q. Full name?
A. Brooke Gelber
Q. Where were you born?
Q. Favorite word?
A. Cozy. Who doesn't like to be cozy?
Q. What do you do here at San Domenico? And what is your favorite part of your job?
A. I do so many things, but, mostly, I teach math. I coach the Mathletes team. I'm the co-technology coordinator for the Middle School, and I'm the 6th Grade Moderator. My favorite part of the job is the connection with students. I love the conversations we have before school, during advisory, activities, etc. I am in awe of their creativity, the way they look at the world, and they make me laugh!
Q. Which Dominican value inspires you the most this week and why? (Study, Reflection, Community, or Service?)
A. Reflection. I'm all about community, and that is what I love most about San Domenico. But this week, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on curriculum, student needs, teaching style, learning outcomes, etc. Even after so many years of teaching, we are always reflecting and growing, as both teachers and humans. That's the space I'm in today.
Q. What might an average weekend look like, for you?
A. It's a balance between family time, getting work done, and finding some time to myself, for renewal. I take my daughter to gymnastics, run errands, host a sleepover, see movies, go to the park, or grade papers. For myself, I love to hike with friends, go paddle boarding or kayaking, spin at Soul Cycle, and go out to see live music. Thanks to all of this rain, I've been getting better at just being at home, on the couch, reading a book. Sitting still is not natural to me, but I'm learning to love it!
Q. List 1-3 of your most significant personal accomplishments, to date.
A. I survived a ten-day, raft guide, school training. That was a challenge for me! I travelled Europe, alone. I moved 3,000 miles, across the country, without a job, and with very little in the bank (a move only a 22 year old would make). And it all worked out just fine!
Q. List 1-3 of your most significant professional and/or academic accomplishments, to date.
A. I was the first person in my family to get a master's degree, so I'm proud of that. I'm also really proud of the training I've done, both at iTeach and other professional conferences. I enjoy that work and like being able to help other teachers. And, of course, when the Mathletes team beat MCDS, after more than 20 years of domination, that felt like a big accomplishment!
Q. What was your best, professional "I wish someone had seen this" moment?
A. I think I feel that way often - when a lesson is going perfectly, we're doing an activity, and the kids are excited, engaged, learning a lot, and the flow is perfect. I always want to go and tell someone, "You should have seen how awesome my class was today!"