Special education teacher looks forward to being advocate for students

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

“When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a teacher or a mom,” said Brooke Lea, a new special education instructor at Lanesboro Elementary.

Lea had childhood ambition to become a teacher and now she is joining the Lanesboro school as a first-year teacher. “I graduated from high school in 2012 and from Grand Canyon University in January 2019. This will be my first full year of teaching,” she said.

“I chose to become a special education teacher because every student deserves someone to believe in them and to advocate for them and their needs,” Lea continued. “I chose to be a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in students’ lives. I wanted to be the one person who believed in them no matter what. I had great teachers growing up, and the kindness they showed me really impacted my decision to be a teacher. I taught middle school and high school emotional behavioral disability (EBD) special education for four months at La Crescent-Hokah Secondary School before coming to Lanesboro.”

Lea chose to come to Lanesboro to teach because she wanted to work for a smaller school district. “I wanted to teach elementary age students, I wanted a smaller school, and it is a closer drive from my home.”

She explained that paperwork is the greatest challenge she faces as a special education instructor, and that she’ll strive to do her best for her students, adding that her approach to teaching is one of caring for the students themselves.

“Children should learn how to be kind and caring towards other classmates and to always try their best at everything,” Lea said. “I hope to show my students what kindness feels like. I want all of my students to feel like my room is a positive place where everyone is happy to see them and believes in them and their abilities to be successful.”

She also would like to take her students outside to Sylvan Park, right next door to the school grounds, to do some of their work. “I hope to be outside to do some learning in the park while the weather is still nice,” she added.

Lea lives in Rushford with her family. “I have a husband and a stepson. They love to participate in any kind of sport and to be outside. They are awesome! I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, going to my stepson’s sporting events and hiking with my husband. I really enjoy being outdoors.”