The Journey to Becoming a Teacher: Jacqueline Ward-Brew

Ms. Ward-Brew’s journey to becoming a teacher wasn’t exactly a direct path. Born in Ghana, West Africa, she came to the United States in 1972 when she was five years old. As a child, she was quiet and loved to read Encyclopedia Brown mysteries and the dictionary. 

Though her mother was a teacher, she remembers, “You could not convince me that I would become a teacher. I wanted to become a doctor like my father.”

But as the oldest child in the household, she often found herself teaching her siblings. 
At school, she loved learning and had some excellent teachers. 

Ms. Ward-Brew reflected, “My teachers encouraged me to do my best, but my mother was really the one who affected me more at home as a teacher herself. She pushed me to do more. If I had a 90 on a test, she would say, ‘A 95 isn’t too far away.’ If I had a 95, she would say, ‘Why not try for a 100?’”

Her most memorable teacher was her middle school, English teacher, Ms. Morenstein. She even saved a writing assignment from her English class for almost 30 years. As fate would have it Ms. Morenstein was still teaching when Ms. Ward-Brew’s son went to the middle school. He took the assignment into Ms. Morenstein who couldn’t believe it had been saved for all those years. 

Ms. Ward-Brew was motivated to keep the assignment for more than nostalgic reasons saying, “Ms. Morenstein inspired me in such a way that I wanted one day to show my child.”

With undergraduate degrees in both Anthropology and Family and Consumer Science, Ms. Ward-Brew was not considering a teaching career until a professional peer suggested she consider a Masters in Education. She did and she has been teaching now for five years at Challenge Preparatory Charter School K-5. 

“I love teaching science, so I was excited at the opportunity to focus on science at Challenge Charter Middle School. I like to get students excited about learning. I like sparking their interest.”

Ms. Ward-Brew is especially looking forward to using the STEAM program at the Middle School. Along with her love for science, she loves to garden, sew, and cook. She would like to see an afterschool program develop at the Middle School that focuses on teaching science through food. She envisions events where students prepare foods for their families and explain the science behind the preparation.

Her love for history and world cultures has brought her to an astute observation, “In all the differences we have in the world, we can all come together and appreciate good food.” 

Ms. Ward-Brew is pleased to be amongst the first faculty for the new Challenge Charter Middle School. For more information about the Challenge Charter Middle School Science program click here.