Certiport’s Teacher of the Month: Brian Turner

Winter break is right around the corner. Your students (and you, let’s be honest) are ready for a vacation. We want to make sure you stay engaged and finish out 2019 with a bang.

No one better to pump up teachers than Brian Turner (don’t you love his slightly Photoshopped shot above?), Certiport’s December Teacher of the Month. Brian, Stetson University graduate and Vegas fan, is a teacher pushing for change, and we’re so excited about the future he’s creating, for education and for his students. After teaching for a decade, you could expect a dip in enthusiasm, but not for Mr. Turner.

From day one, Brian’s focus has been to create a brighter future and safe space for his students. “I wanted to be the teacher that I never had, and by that, I mean being openly gay to my students. Hopefully I am a positive role model for young LGBTQ+ students as there are not many in our culture to look up to.”

Not only does Brian help represent and advocate for LGBTQ+ students, he empowers all students in his classroom to learn and stretch themselves every day. “I teach sophomores, focusing on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Organizing meaningful lessons for students who are at different levels of technological comfort can be quite difficult, but it’s manageable with some extra planning. I look over my assignment reports in the morning to see what the students completed so that I can focus each student on specific tasks every day. Each student in my class deserves specific guidance and attention. It’s challenging but rewarding work.”

For him, and his students, it’s the hard that makes it great. “My favorite part of teaching is when my students pass their certification exams. The look in their eyes is priceless. We work very hard to be able to pass these exams and when it pays off, you can tell they appreciate it. My students push themselves so hard, which is so inspirational. When I get a student that can run circles around me in certain applications, it humbles me and pushes me to be better.”

While there’s so much going well in his classroom, Turner does believe that there’s room to improve in education. “The teacher evaluation model has to change. It’s completely subjective and most observers have no clue what I do in the classroom. I’m hoping that, in the future, we can come up with a better solution for how to judge success in the classroom.”

So, what’s Mr. Turner’s advice for other teachers? “Try to keep your head above water. If you can leave everyday saying that you did your best, then that’s all you can do.”

On behalf of Certiport, thank you to Mr. Turner, and all the educators out there who are treading water every day. You inspire us!

Learn more about how you can connect with fellow teachers and collaborate together at www.certiport.com/certified.