From an early age, Rolla Presbyterian Manor resident Janet Brown knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life.
“I just knew I wanted to teach kindergarten when I was in elementary school. From the time I was quite young, I loved children. In the meantime, I babysat quite a bit,” said Janet.
After getting her teaching degree from the University of Missouri, marrying her high school sweetheart and then having three children, her dream to teach came true.
“I was drafted when I had small children. I had no plans to teach for several years and they needed a kindergarten teacher very badly.” She taught part-time for two years and then transitioned to teach full-time at Pershing Elementary in Rolla. During this time, a new school, Truman Elementary, was being built that everyone would be moved to when completed.
“It was a building with an open floor plan with no walls and no windows in the rooms. It was very well lit but loud and noisy.”
Janet was a team teacher for second grade the first year they moved to Truman Elementary. Not a fan of the open space and noise, she was happy to move back to the kindergarten classroom her second year at the new school.
“The new kindergarten room was the only enclosed room. The second year at the new school, I had 18 students and it was a fantastic experience.”
Janet’s teaching style was hands-on and involved a lot of creativity.
“The students and I got along so beautifully, and they were so easy to work with. We’d sing and dance. I played the piano. We had an end of the year school program we put together and lots of art projects. They enjoyed clay and all kinds of paints. I tried very hard to be creative with them. That helped me out, I was not an artist! We also had alphabet printing, number lessons and field trips that kept us busy!”
She may not be a self-proclaimed artist, but Janet had a way with children that enhanced her 13 years as a teacher.
“Janet has an easy way about her,” said Joy Parker, activities director and volunteer coordinator at Rolla Presbyterian Manor.
Janet shared that she enjoyed traveling all over the country with her second husband and also enjoys her grandchildren.