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Brooke Thompson knows what captures her students’ interest. In her third-grade classroom at Shannon Forest Christian School, students are known and their passions are made part of the lessons.

Thompson is in her 10th year of teaching and her fifth at Shannon Forest. She is a mother of two, and her husband, Dustin, is a coach at Shannon Forest. Teaching has been a lifelong dream for her.

“I was always that kid who had their stuffed animals lined up,” she said.

Along the way, every teacher she had served to influence her. She did her practicum and student teaching with Jennifer Hart, who teaches at Brushy Creek Elementary. She said Hart taught her that it is OK to be herself in the classroom. She does that through lots of hands-on activities and music.

“We start every lesson with a song,” she said. “We dance. We make up movements. I love teaching. The No. 1 thing for me is relationships. Of course, the content is important, but they can share their good days and bad days. We are brothers and sisters – knowing that the relationships we have are because we have a relational God.”

Thompson said she includes student-led learning in her classroom.

“Finding their interest and being able to weave that in is huge,” she said. “Every year is different. That’s the relational part – knowing how they learn and being able to teach them.”

And her passion for teaching hasn’t waned from those early days of teaching her toys.

“Coming to work is not work,” she said. “It is fun and enjoyable. I’m happy every day I’m here.”

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