Patrick Brennan brings his love of music and sports into the classroom and shares these interests with his students. Brennan teaches fifth grade at White Elementary.
Brennan feels that music, sports, technology and other extracurricular activities can spark students who might not be great at academics. In addition, he explains, getting kids exposed to “as much technology as possible” will benefit students in the future.
Brennan plays guitar and loves the blues. This month, his students are finishing a Mississippi Blues unit, he says. The unit involved researching and writing a biography of a blues musician and learning to play the harmonica.
Brennan also brings his love of sports to school. One of his favorites is hockey, so he teaches the kids street hockey. He also coaches softball.
Nominating student Candace calls Brennan “a very sportsy teacher who thinks way outside the box.” She adds, “He is very outgoing and personable. He encourages his students to always do their best.” She credits Brennan for encouraging her to become a Bear Essential Young Reporter.
Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Brennan went to college in nearby Pennsylvania. He moved to Arizona to finish school and says he “got sick of snow” but “loves the desert and sunrises” so he stayed.
Brennan started studying business, but a classroom experience in Bethlehem, Penn., showed him that he had an affinity for the classroom. He started working as a tutor, then a substitute before he became an emergency certified teacher at Blenman over 15 years ago.
He has since gotten two master's degrees in education and educational leadership. After working at different schools in TUSD, Brennan says he hopes to stay at White until he retires. He likes that the school has music (mariachi) and sports. He already has plans for when he retires—he plans to work in real estate. He got his real estate license last year.
As a student, Brennan liked math and history. He says his dad encouraged his love of history with family trips to Civil War battlefields. Brennan says he still enjoys visiting historical places.
Brennan has used the nonprofit funding site DonorsChoose for several years. “They’ve helped my teaching a lot as I have been able to get resources that I would normally not be able to get,” he says—things like microphones, PA systems and harmonicas!