Meeting Mr. B

Brooke Berringer, a new student teacher at Liberty, shares his thoughts, hopes, and experiences.

Sara+Karbeling%2C+Brooke+Berringer%2C+and+Sasha+Murphy+pose+together+for+a+selfie+in+one+of+the+physics+rooms+at+Liberty.

Sasha Murphy

Sara Karbeling, Brooke Berringer, and Sasha Murphy pose together for a selfie in one of the physics rooms at Liberty.

Liberty has a new addition that has nothing to do with the building’s ongoing construction efforts. Brooke Berringer, also known as Mr. B, is a student teacher from the University of Iowa who is currently working in conjunction with teachers Sara Karbeling and Sasha Murphy in Liberty’s physics department.

Student teachers like Berringer spend about 3-4 months in high school classrooms to gain hands-on experience and further their education. So, why teaching? Oftentimes, it’s the teachers who are the most dedicated to their students’ success that make the difference. Berringer expressed his own wish to become as good as his own high school physics teacher, Mr. Heckman. 

Throughout my school years, teachers have always made a large difference in my life. They were people that I looked up to and wanted to emulate,” said Berringer.

Throughout my school years, teachers have always made a large difference in my life. They were people that I looked up to and wanted to emulate.”

— Brooke Berringer

Being a student teacher has given Berringer the opportunity to receive valuable feedback from educators other than his professors. He’s also able to take a step outside of the lecture hall and get a true understanding of how students behave towards a teacher in a learning environment. 

“Mrs. Murphy and Ms. Karbeling have introduced me to what teaching actually looks like. I have taken a lot of education courses, but none of them offer as much insight into the profession as the student teaching experience does,” said Berringer.

Since Berringer has taken over teaching for some of Karbeling and Murphy’s classes, the two high school teachers have been left with a lot of extra time for lesson planning and observing when able. Berringer has taken over grading assessments as well. 

“He has been doing a lot more of the day to day grading, but that time outside of class is generally filled now with great conversations with Mr. B. about teaching, physics content, and professional development. I’d say [the workload is] about the same – just different work,” explained Karbeling. 

There’s a lot that goes on in a classroom that the teacher can’t always be completely aware of. By observing the class from the back of the room instead of the front, Karbeling and Murphy are able to understand their classes a bit better. 

I have had a chance to notice the interactions between students more – both the really cool discussions about physics as well as the distracted conversations about anything but physics!” exclaimed Karbeling. 

However, being so far out of sight has put the physics teachers in a weird position where they aren’t really invested in student learning at the moment.

Physics is a different lens through which we can witness what is happening around us, and it is fun to help others see the world through this lens.”

— Brooke Berringer

It is really strange to not be in the room every day, I feel a little disconnected from physics right now. I am really excited that Mr. B has gotten to build relationships and develop his own environment though!” said Murphy. 

For Berringer, being at Liberty helps him build familiarity with teaching and understand how schools work on a different level. Student teaching has also given him the opportunity to improve classroom skills to prepare for his own teaching career. 

“Honestly, the best part of student teaching is getting to walk into the classroom, be with the students, and help them develop their thoughts on physics. Physics is a different lens through which we can witness what is happening around us, and it is fun to help others see the world through this lens,” explained Berringer.