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Carl Brownlee Makes History Come Alive by Bridging Past and Present

U.S. Marine and Gulf War Veteran Carl Brownlee is a veteran educator with 25 years of teaching experience. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Campbell University, a master's degree in public administration from The University of Michigan, and a master's degree in education from Marygrove College. Brownlee currently teaches eighth-grade social studies at Fisher Magnet Academy. Brownlee was also selected as Regional Teacher of the Year, Region 10, in the 2022-2023 school year by the Michigan Department of Education.         

What inspired you to become a teacher?  

Working with the Male Responsibility Program at the Detroit Urban League inspired me to want to help young people raise their trajectory in life. 

What advice do you have for teachers who are in their first year of teaching?  

My advice to a first-year teacher would be to seek help, work on your craft, and set strong boundaries in your classroom (say what you mean and mean what you say). Foster effective relationships with students. "Students don’t care what you say until they see you care." 

How do you foster a genuine interest in social studies in your students?  

Make it relatable to today's youth and bridge the past with the present. Representation matters if young people see themselves as active participants in historic events; it sparks more attentiveness. 

What is your favorite instructional strategy and how do you use it to enhance student learning? 

Active Learning through technology is one of my favorite strategies I use with students. An example would be my students recently completed a virtual tour of the Jim Crow Museum. They were required to view six videos of their choice and tell what they heard or learned. "Give them the ingredients and let them cook."

What do you like to do for fun outside of teaching? 

Working out, hanging out with my wife and daughter, and working on myself.