Steve Brown - Academic Director - Curriculum & Accreditation
Brown is the language arts and social studies teacher at White River Academy. He received his bachelor’s in English with a focus in creative writing and a minor in history from Southern Utah University. He is working on a MFA in creative writing through the University of Texas at El Paso and is a published poet.
Steve began his teaching career in the Chinle Unified School District on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, where he worked with disadvantaged youth. After six years of teaching 7th and 8th grade language arts, Steve was asked to serve as school improvement coordinator for Tsaile Public School in the Chinle District. In that position, along with several peers and a supportive principal, he created major changes at the school, including instructional and assessment practices that ultimately moved the school from an “under-performing” label to a “performing plus” label. Steve has also worked as an outside consultant for school districts through Southwest Educational Consulting Associates, improving school culture and climate, facilitating improvement plans and designing professional development and curriculum programs for language arts. He has also provided training in the “six traits of effective writing,” at multiple schools in Arizona and served as a coach for the Arizona Department of Education’s Professional Development Leadership Academy, a program designed by the state to turn at-risk schools and districts around.
Brown’s basic educational philosophy is this: students want to learn and what keeps them from learning is low self-esteem. Boredom and behavior problems are a cover-up for, “I don’t get this.” Brown believes the tools students need to achieve and build confidence are:
Access to real data –how did I do last time and what do I need to do to improve?
Instruction that is relevant and delivered in small chunks (teacher models, group practices together and student practices alone for mastery)
A culture where mistakes are viewed as vital learning experiences on a path of continual growth
Lots of practice time. With these things in place, Brown believes all students can achieve.