Looking Beneath the Surface of Brown

We rarely follow through with what we originally intend. This happens to all of us. Even Greg Brown , a Dimond High history teacher. When Brown began his college life, he had set out to pursue a business degree. However, according to him, he realized he liked history better and decided to pursue a teaching degree. When asked why he wanted to teach history Brown said he liked stories and that “history is one big story.” Brown wasn’t just a history buff; he was an athlete as well. He’s a former Dimond High basketball player. He also ran cross-country during his high school life. This was enough for him to qualify as a cross-country running and the distance coach for track when he started his teaching career at Clear Creek High School (just south of Houston, Texas). Brown said he was impressed by the exceptional amount of talent the Texas students possessed. After Brown taught in Texas, he moved back up to Alaska and taught for a short duration at Inlet Elementary School. After that, he returned to Dimond as a faculty member. Brown has been responsible for teaching several of the more difficult classes at Dimond, such as Advanced Placement Art History, Advanced Placement European History and Honors U.S. History. He has also taught U.S. History and Student Government. In addition to his classes, Brown volunteers his classroom and time for National Honors Society . Other faculty members respect him and how he teaches his students. Kent Isaakson, the chair of the History Department at Dimond, said that “He’s very helpful,” and he “certainly spends time with students.” Isaakson also said, “he expects a level of scholarship, he works to help students achieve a higher level of scholarship than what they came in with.” The feeling of respect is shared by his students, as well. Emily Klopfer, a junior, said, “He is one of the few teachers I know of where the students want to do well for him. Not for themselves necessarily or because people are supposed to do homework, but because they don’t want to let him down.” Klopfer also said that Brown is a great teacher who explains things well. His teaching is reflected in the AP results from his classes. Students generally do well and score fours or fives on the tests. Brown has stated that getting high scores on AP tests is one of the most gratifying parts of his job. Another gratifying part of his job is his frequent trips to Europe . He enjoys taking students he has had before to Europe with him to experience the culture and history. This year he is planning another trip, which will last 21 days and will cover six countries. The first stop is London. After a few days, the group will head to France, then Switzerland , Italy, Austria and finally Germany. Students who have had Brown for AP European History can fully appreciate the trip as they can understand the historical significance of the places that they will visit. Brown explains why history is important. “I think it matters… it really shows us what makes us human.”