Brittany Camden teaches fifth grade at Gale Elementary. This is her third year at Gale. Camden previously worked as an inclusion specialist and behavior specialist at Cottonwood Elementary.
Camden was excited to make the move to a new school a few years ago because “I heard wonderful things about Gale,” she explains. Camden also had a friend who was moving to Gale, and she was looking for experience with a general education classroom, she says.
“It was a good decision,” says Camden. She now teaches a class with both gen ed students and kids with special needs or individualized education programs (IEPs).
Camden says it’s important for kids with special needs to interact with their peers, and additionally “I love the empathy my gen ed kids get when exposed” to kids with differences.
“The two main rules in my classroom are: we have mutual respect for each other, and we show kindness,” says Camden.
Camden was nominated by her student, Michael. He was in her fourth grade last year and looped with her classroom to fifth grade. He writes that his teacher is fun, kind and very patient. “She helps us learn in the way our minds work,” Michael writes. He also notes Camden’s flexible nature when the unexpected happens, which helps her and her students.
Camden says she encourages all of her students to “be flexible thinkers” and “to have a flexible brain.” Being flexible when the unexpected occurs was a good skill recently when the school had a power outage, she notes. Camden says that being flexible is something that Michael has worked hard this past year.
In her free time, Camden enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, going to the movies, having a barbecue with friends, hiking or reading.
“If I’m not lesson planning, my nose is in a book or I’m strolling a bookstore,” Camden says. She was excited to meet author Stephanie Land at the Tucson Festival of Books. Camden enjoys non-fiction and autobiographies, and Land’s memoir was a favorite of hers.
Camden is a Tucson native who was inspired to work in the classroom by her own fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Cloud. “I knew (I wanted to teach) when I was in fourth grade. I had a wonderful teacher,” Camden says, adding, “I knew that was where my heart was.”
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