Flipping the light switch… Trent enjoys seeing a student’s light bulb moment

Published 1:18 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

Brennan Trent, recently recognized as District Teacher of the Year for Elizabethton High School, strives to express her love of teaching through her actions and words.
“I taught my first two years at Cherokee, but when I moved to Elizabethton, I truly connected with the energy and my coworkers,” said Trent, who has taught for nine years.
Her initial goal was to open a high-end salon, but she quickly changed her mind when she was able to interact with the students. She teaches Algebra One and works as a Learning Leader, where she helps train and guide new teachers.
Her classroom functions differently, as she flips her teaching style. The students do their “homework” during class and take notes in their respective homes.
“Most of the class is meant to be collaborative. I don’t give many instructions because I like seeing the students work with each other,” said Trent.
Her teaching style is something that has made her a noteworthy teacher. “I love seeing light bulb moments. When something clicks for a student, especially if they’ve been struggling with it, I become extremely proud of them,” Trent said.
She pushes her students to learn to be proud of themselves and others regarding their work.
Along with teaching, Trent is also active with the Niswonger Foundation, where she helps prepare materials for the state of Tennessee. She trains teachers who have recently joined the school system, as well.
“I appreciate being able to give my knowledge and guidance to new teachers. I remember how that was once me, so I want to help as much as I can,” she said.
From helping teachers to guiding students, Trent wants to spread her joy and love to all.
“Although my students may never use math again, I hope they never forget how much I care about them,” Trent said.

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