MƒA MASTER TEACHER
Long Island City High School
# of years teaching
Brooke Nixon-Friedheim grew up with profound respect for educators, but when she became a teacher, the initial difficulties she faced undermined her feelings for the profession. It wasn’t until she found MƒA that she understood teaching wasn’t “just” a job, but a way of being. “At MƒA, I feel like a professional. As someone who thinks a lot about how to advance learning, I appreciate that MƒA teachers are trusted to decide how to grow on their own and are given unparalleled opportunities to do so.” Brooke values the resources she gains and relationships she develops within the MƒA community, but most important to her is the chance to continuously enrich her career. “My role as a teacher is impossible without constantly seeking self-growth; how can I expect to model for students, unless I am constantly looking to embody the qualities and habits that I espouse?”
As a high school mathematics teacher, Brooke works thoughtfully to shed the misconception that math is only a series of algorithms and predetermined answers. One of Brooke’s favorite classroom activities is a “race” down the hall used to introduce the concept of exponential functions. “I try to keep students moving around and have the math they do in class be motivated by an engaging activity. It does not have to be rote and boring.” She aims to unsettle some of her students’ traditional notions on the subject. “I hope my students learn that math is play, ambiguity is a place of great interest, and the state of ‘not knowing’ can be a point of great discovery.”
Brooke began college as an electrical engineer major, then shifted gears to receive a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Political Science from Duke University. She earned an M.A. in Anthropology from New York University, an M.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education from The City College of New York, and an M.A. in School Administration from The College of Saint Rose. Brooke is also a former New York City Teaching Fellow.