Long, rewarding days for Gwynns Falls Elementary school teacher Brianna Hopkins

Posted at 11:51 AM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 11:51:23-05

Teaching comes quite naturally to Brianna Hopkins. Watching her, you would think she's wanted to be a teacher all of her life. But not exactly.

"I really thought I wanted to be an industrial engineer," said Hopkins.

She started to study engineering in college, but it didn't feel right to her. A classmate, who she was tutoring in math, suggested a different path.

"He said, well, why don't you be a math teacher? Because you always break it down for me, and when you break it down for me, I end up understanding."

Hopkins decided to change careers and is now breaking down math and science problems at Gwynns Falls Elementary. She uses songs, sayings, and games to make the techniques stick.

"It really is a task to keep them engaged, but once you really know your students, you know what works for certain students and what doesn't," she said.

Hopkins' day doesn't end when the bell rings. After school, she coaches the cheerleading team at Polytechnic Institute. She also tutors students in math. 24 hours a day is just not enough.

"If I could get 32 hours, I would be okay," she laughed. "I feel hectic some days but when I go to bed and I think, wow I accomplished a lot today its exciting."

Its only Hopkins' first year at Gwynns Falls and she's already made a huge impression on her boss.

"She came in very passionate," said Nikomar Mosley, the principal at Gwynns Falls. "She made very strong and positive relationships with her students."

Hopkins has no doubt she made the right career choice. Her students know she'll never give up on them even when life, or math problems, get tough.

"Sometimes they might not understand the math algorithm, but if they know I'm trying, and they're trying, they're less likely to give up on themselves."